Nottingham Forest will want to end their two-month wait for a win when they entertain relegation-threatened Birmingham City at The City Ground on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).Saturday’s 5-2 defeat at Queens Park Rangers has left The Reds with only an outside chance of reaching the Championship playoffs and without a victory in 13 matches in all competitions.
Birmingham head into the game sitting just three points above the relegation zone but the visitors have not lost on Trentside since December 1999.
Reds midfielder David Vaughan could once again be included in the matchday squad after returning from two months out with a knee injury.
Jamie Paterson is fit again after recovering from illness while Danny Collins is also available having returned from a one-match suspension.
Birmingham’s top scorer Lee Novak is facing a race against time to be fit after being stretchered off with a knee injury in the recent 3-1 defeat at Middlesbrough.
Otherwise Blues boss Lee Clark has no real injury concerns and may look to a strikeforce of Federico Macheda and Nikola Zigic to fire his side to victory at The City Ground.
Saturday’s 5-2 defeat at Queens Park Rangers made it 13 matches without a win for Forest and saw them slide down to 11th in the Sky Bet Championship table.
The Reds have not recorded a win since the 3-0 success at Huddersfield on 11 February but they did produce a stirring comeback in their last home outing, the 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
Derby (A) – Lost 5-0
Charlton (H) – Lost 1-0
Ipswich (A) – Drew 1-1
Millwall (H) – Lost 2-1
Sheffield Wednesday (H) – Drew 3-3
QPR (A) – Lost 5-2
As one of the division’s most unpredictable sides, it will come as no surprise that Birmingham have won two and lost two of their last four games.
Crucial away wins over relegation rivals Millwall and Doncaster in recent weeks have given The Blues some breathing space but their home form must improve quickly.
Lee Clark’s side have not recorded a win at St Andrew’s since the 4-0 victory over Millwall on 1 October and have been beaten at home by playoff-chasing Reading and Bournemouth recently.
Sheffield Wednesday (A) – Lost 4-1
Reading (H) – Lost 2-1
Millwall (A) – Won 3-2
Bournemouth (H) – Lost 4-2
Doncaster (A) – Won 3-1
Middlesbrough (A) – Lost 3-1
Down The Years
Forest wins over Birmingham: 38 (34 League, 2 FA Cup, 2 League Cup)
Birmingham wins over Forest: 36 (31 League, 3 FA Cup, 2 League Cup)
Draws: 31 (26 League, 4 FA Cup, 1 League Cup)
The two teams played out a goalless draw at St Andrew’s in December as Birmingham were held to their fourth consecutive home stalemate.
Nikola Zigic missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring and, despite Darius Henderson’s red card late on, Forest held on to claim a point in the West Midlands.
The last meeting between the sides at The City Ground came in September 2012 as Forest fought back from 2-0 down to secure a 2-2 draw on Trentside.
Goals from Hayden Mullins and Marlon King looked set to give Birmingham all three points but Simon Cox’s strike and a late own goal from Pablo Ibanez gave The Reds a share of the spoils.
He Played For Both
Dele Adebola moved to Birmingham from Crewe Alexandra for £1million in 1998 and scored his first goal in a 2-0 win over his former club in just his second game for The Blues. Adebola would go on to make 154 appearances and score 41 goals for Birmingham before leaving for Crystal Palace in 2002.
The striker made a free transfer from Bristol City to Forest in the summer of 2009 and scored in the famous 5-1 rout of Leicester in December of the same year. After making 71 outings and scoring eight goals for The Reds, Adebola signed for Hull City in 2011.
Referee: Michael Jones
Assistant Referees: Andrew Halliday and Derek Eaton
Fourth Official: Stephen Bratt
Nottingham Forest are the 10/11 favourites to take all three points against Birmingham on Saturday while the draw is priced at 13/5.
The Reds are 15/2 to return to winning ways with a 2-1 win while a more emphatic 3-0 victory for Forest can be backed at 14/1.
Karl Darlow has called on The Reds to get back to keeping clean sheets and a Forest win without conceding is priced at 9/4.
Check out all of the latest odds on Sky Bet.
(All odds subject to change)
The official matchday magazine is available to buy and download for Saturday’s meeting with Birmingham.
In this edition, priced £3, Andy Reid provides a personal look back at his career, Jamaal Lascelles talks about his development in the Forest first team and there are the usual weekly columns from Fawaz Al Hasawi, Chris Cohen and Carl Froch.
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 2pm onwards on Saturday.
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 12pm on Sunday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp.
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Tickets for the match (Saturday 19 April, kick-off 3pm) 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).