Nottingham Forest will be looking to close the gap on the top three when they entertain Reading at The City Ground on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).The Reds backed up their win at Leicester with a point against table-topping Burnley on Saturday and Billy Davies’ men will be looking for another impressive result this time around.
Only two points currently separate Forest from Friday’s visitors, so another entertaining Sky Bet Championship encounter is in store under The City Ground lights.
The Reds will be without captain Chris Cohen after the skipper was ruled out for the rest of the season with a cruciate knee injury.
Cohen joins Kelvin Wilson, Danny Collins on the long-term injury list but decisions will need to be made on the fitness of Andy Reid, David Vaughan and Greg Halford.
Billy Davies will be talking to Forest Player later today where he will give a full injury update and team news ahead of the match.
Reading have a lengthy injury list themselves as Sean Morrison, Jem Karacan, Wayne Bridge and Jason Roberts are all in the treatment room with long-term injuries.
Nigel Adkins may have Royston Drenthe and Mikele Leigertwood back in his matchday squad but the pair will have to overcome late fitness tests if they are to make The City Ground clash.
The Reds appear to be getting back into their stride following a disappointing run of results against Bournemouth, Blackpool and Yeovil.
After the stunning 2-0 win at Leicester, they were unfortunate not to secure victory over league leaders Burnley. The point kept The Reds in the Championship’s playoff places and eight points off the top.
Brighton (A) – Won 3-1
Bournemouth (H) – Drew 1-1
Yeovil (A) - Lost 3-1
Blackpool (H) – Lost 1-0
Leicester (A) – Won 2-0
Burnley (H) – Drew 1-1
Reading head to Trentside without a win in four matches and have now slipped out of the top six.
The Royals appeared to be hitting form after cruising past Doncaster last month, but draws against Millwall and QPR stunted their progress and a shocking 5-2 defeat at struggling Sheffield Wednesday was sandwiched in between.
Nigel Adkins’ men picked up a useful point in a goalless draw at Blackburn on Saturday and will be looking to move back into the playoff places with a win against The Reds.
Burnley (A) – Lost 2-1
Doncaster (H) – Won 4-1
Millwall (H) – Drew 1-1
Sheffield Wednesday (A) – Lost 5-2
QPR (H) – Drew 1-1
Blackburn (A) – Drew 0-0
Down The Years
Forest wins over Reading: 15 (13 League, 2 FA Cup)
Reading wins over Forest: 10 (10 League)
Draws: 8 (7 League, 1 FA Cup)
The last meeting between the two sides came in April 2012 as Forest slipped to a 1-0 defeat at The Madejski Stadium thanks to Mikele Leigertwood’s goal nine minutes from time.
Marcus Tudgay’s late strike gave The Reds a win by the same scoreline back in September 2011 when the teams last met at The City Ground.
The game looked to be heading for stalemate until Tudgay popped up with 15 minutes to play. The result moved Forest clear of the Championship relegation zone as Steve Cotterill continued his fine start as Reds boss.
He Played For Both
Chris Gunter made an initial loan switch to The City Ground from Tottenham in March 2009 and made enough of an impression to gain a permanent deal that summer. He went on to make 157 appearances for The Reds in a three-year spell, scoring two goals in the process.
The Welshman then joined Reading in July 2012 and made 20 Premier League appearances as The Royals were relegated last season. The defender has been an almost ever-present figure for Reading this campaign, missing only one league match to date.
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistant Referees: Andrew Fox and Danny Gratton
Fourth Official: Marvyn Amphlett
Nottingham Forest are the 11/10 favourites to take all three points on Friday night while the draw is priced at 12/5.
The Reds have fought out some close matches at The City Ground in recent weeks so odds of 6/1 on a 1-0 Forest win seem particularly generous.
With in-form strikers such as Simon Cox and Adam Le Fondre on the field, an 8/11 price on both teams to score also looks a handy bet.
Check out all of the latest odds on Sky Bet.
(All odds correct at time of publishing)
The official matchday magazine is available to buy and download for Friday’s meeting with Reading.
In this edition, priced £3, Billy Davies gives his thoughts on the draw with Burnley, Simon Cox looks forward to facing his former club and former Red Garath McCleary previews his return to The City Ground.
Forest fans are reminded that they can download the official matchday magazine to their iPad. Perfect for supporters who are unable to attend the game, the download can be accessed via this app from 6.45pm onwards on Friday.
Hard copies will be available from all the usual outlets around The City Ground.
Follow The Game
Live audio commentary will be available on Forest Player, as well as free live text commentary on www.nottinghamforest.co.uk.
Forest Player will also have extended match highlights from 12noon on Saturday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp.
Tickets for the match (Friday 29 November, kick-off 7.45pm) are on general sale and can be bought online at www.nffcretail.com, in store at the Ticket Office or by calling 0871 226 1980 (calls cost 10p per minute, mobile rates may vary).
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