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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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26 December 2017 Venue The City Ground Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: Sunderland (H)

29 December 2017

Nottingham Forest will be looking to end 2017 on a high when Sunderland are the visitors to The City Ground on Saturday.

The Reds had a disappointing Boxing Day with a 3-0 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday, and Mark Warburton's men will be aiming to bounce back against The Black Cats.

Sunderland have had a difficult return to the second tier and find themselves in the bottom three heading into the final round of fixtures of the calendar year.

Chris Coleman's appointment as manager has seen a slight upturn in results but the former Welsh national side boss will be looking for more from his side if they are to avoid a successive relegation.

See below for the pre-match views from the Forest camp.

Team news

Former Sunderland pair Daryl Murphy and David Vaughan are expected to return to the matchday squad after not being invovled on Boxing Day, while Danny Fox and Matt Mills could also be in contention.

From the opposition

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman said he needs to find solutions to his side's problems and fast after a disappointing display against Sheffield United on Boxing Day.

The Black Cats lost 3-0 and Coleman said his side's performance was unforgivable. Speaking after the game, he said: "It was a bitterly disappointing performance. I think we just swallowed it really, whatever Sheffield United threw at us. As soon as we were 1-0 down, we just accepted a low level performance from each other.

"It is the first time I have seen that from them. When you are in that position it is not anger, it is apathy which is very dangerous.

"It is okay winning one and then everyone gets a bit excited and then we reveal ourselves. We are here for a reason, unless we get better, stronger, meaner and hungrier then we won't ever get away from where we are.

"I am saying they, I don't just mean the players. Me too. It is my team now. What we had on offer was nowhere near good enough.

"I have to find answers and solutions quickly. It is as simple as that."

One to watch - Lewis Grabban

Lewis Grabban has been Sunderland's main goal threat this season and has scored an impressive 12 goals to date. 

The on-loan Bournemouth man will be key to any survival hopes that Sunderland have but he is a doubt for Saturday's game having missed the match on Boxing Day through injury. 

Last time out

Tickets

Tickets are selling well for the final match on 2017 and you can still purchase online, in-person or by calling 0115 982 4388.

Full details can be found here.

Coverage

International subscribers to iFollow Forest will be able to watch the game live, while there will also be audio commentary available.

There will also be full coverage via the club's official social media channels and in the Match Centre.

Other fixtures

All fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated:

Cardiff v Preston (Friday, 7.45pm)
Millwall v QPR (Friday, 7.45pm)
Barnsley v Reading
Birmingham v Leeds
Brentford v Sheffield Wednesday
Burton v Norwich
Hull v Fulham
Ipswich v Derby
Middlesbrough v Aston Villa
Sheffield United v Bolton
Bristol City v Wolves (5.30pm)

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Match Reports

Forest 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday

26 December 2017

Nottingham Forest suffered a 3-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday at The City Ground this afternoon.

It was a bad day at the office for The Reds as Adam Reach put the visitors into an early lead before Jordan Rhodes' penalty made it two before half time.

Lucas Joao added a third in the second half to ensure that The Owls left Trentside with all three points.

Mark Warburton made three changes to the side which earned a point at Preston on Saturday, with Daryl Murphy, David Vaughan Mustapha Carayol being replaced by Tyler Walker, Andreas Bouchalakis and Barrie McKay.

The Reds created the first opening of the game on three minutes, with Ben Brereton getting down the right flank and delivering a low cross into the area which Walker was unable to convert, but it was the visitors who took a fifth-minute lead.

A corner was only half-cleared by the Forest defence and the ball fell invitingly for Reach on the edge of the box to lash home and unstoppable effort into the top corner with his less-favoured right foot.

Forest responded positively though and had three chances inside the opening 20 minutes to restore parity but failed to take any of them.

Firstly, Brereton skipped past Morgan Fox and drove towards goal on 11, only to see his cross-shot evade Walker and the far post before Kieran Dowell's stinging shot from 25 yards was tipped around the post by Joe Wildsmith.

The best chance of the three fell to the feet of McKay after Liam Bridcutt had led a counter-attack and superbly picked out the winger's run. McKay latched onto his through ball and tried to prod it past Wildsmith but the keeper stood firm to deny him a sixth goal of the season.

Forest were in control of the ball and another chance came and went on the half-hour mark, this time Ben Osborn, pushing on from left back, arrived at the back post to meet McKay's cross but Wildsmith again did well to stop his effort.

Despite all of the pressure on the Wednesday goal, it was the visitors who found the crucial second goal from the penalty spot. Walker was adjudged to have brought his man down in the area following a set piece and Rhodes stepped up confidently to send Jordan Smith the wrong way in first-half added time.

Brereton's shot deflected up and over Wildsmith, but wide of the far post, early on in the second half as The Reds looked to spark a comeback.

Despite Forest dominating possession, Wednesday came closest to adding to the scoring after 60 minutes. Joao hit a ferocious strike towards goal and Smith pulled off a tremendous reaction save to tip it onto the bar and away from danger.

But Joao wasn't to be denied for long as five minutes later the Portuguese striker found a way past Smith to seal the points. A counter-attack led to Reach playing him in on goal and, after a smart shimmy, he hit a low drive into the corner of the net to put the game beyond doubt.

The visitors saw out the rest of the match with consummate ease to take the spoils on Boxing Day.

Forest: Smith, Lichaj, Worrall, Mancienne (c), Osborn, Bridcutt, Bouchalakis (Cash 69'), Brereton, Dowell, McKay (Cummings 69'), Walker (Ward 80')

Unused subs: Henderson, Traore, Clough, Carayol

Bookings: Brereton 88', Mancienne 90'

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Palmer, van Aken (Pudil 59'), Loovens (c), Fox, Hutchinson, Reach, Wallace, Hooper (Abdi 34'), Joao (Jones 71'), Rhodes

Unused subs: Dawson, Butterfield, Nuhiu, Matias

Goals: Reach 5', Rhodes pen 45', Joao 65'

Attendance: 28,635 (2,001 away)

Referee: Andrew Madley

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Ticket News

Extra Sheffield Wednesday tickets made available

24 December 2017

Due to high demand, extra tickets have now been made available for Nottingham Forest's game against Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day.

Tickets are now on general sale for The Reds' fixture against The Owls (kick-off 3pm) and are priced (matchday rate in brackets) as follows:

General sale

Adults - £25 (£27)

Seniors - £18 (£20)

Under 18s - £12 (£12)

Under 12s - £6 (£6)

Family Area

Adults - £20 (£22)

Seniors - £15 (£17)

Under 18s - £10 (£10)

Under 12s - £5 (£5)

Tickets can be purchased in-person at the ticket office, by calling 0115 982 4388 or by visiting tickets.nottinghamforest.co.uk.

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