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Match pack: Birmingham (H)

27 December 2014

Get all the latest information ahead of Nottingham Forest's Sky Bet Championship clash with Birmingham City at The City Ground on Sunday (kick-off 12pm).

Nottingham Forest v Birmingham City
Sky Bet Championship
Sunday 28 December (kick-off 12pm)
The City Ground

Pre-match brief

Nottingham Forest have an immediate chance to put the Boxing Day defeat at Middlesbrough behind them as they entertain an improving Birmingham City side in tomorrow's televised lunchtime game.

The Reds were beaten 2-1 at St Andrew's in the reverse fixture just a month ago so revenge may be on the mind for Stuart Pearce and his side as they look for a first league win in six attempts.

To achieve that and to keep pace with Sky Bet Championship's top six, Forest will need to see off a Birmingham team who have picked up some good results since the appointment of manager Gary Rowett.

Team news

Nottingham Forest defender Kelvin Wilson will miss out on tomorrow's clash after being sent off in the 3-0 loss at Middlesbrough on Boxing Day so Jamaal Lascelles may be in line to replace him in the back four.

Dexter Blackstock and Henri Lansbury both missed the defeat at the Riverside Stadium and the pair will need to be assessed tomorrow to see if they are fit enough to take to the field against Birmingham.

Birmingham trio Nikola Zigic, Wes Thomas and Lee Novak will all be pushing for a starting berth after the trio made substitute appearances in the Blues' 4-0 home defeat to Derby on Boxing Day.

Only Will Packwood, Gavin Gunning and Matt Green currently occupy the Birmingham treatment room so Gary Rowett should have no new injury concerns for tomorrow's trip to The City Ground.

View from the Red corner 

Stuart Pearce: "The two games in three days are a tough test for any squad but we've been preparing for that accordingly over the past week or so.

"We'll sit and watch the video of the Middlesbrough game to try and learn the lessons of what went wrong there and then we'll pick a team which we think will go and beat Birmingham."

What's the form guide?

Nottingham Forest made it five league games without a win on Boxing Day as goals from George Friend, Jelle Vossen and Grant Leadbitter consigned them to a 3-0 defeat at high-flying Middlesbrough.

The Reds have not tasted victory at The City Ground since the 2-1 win over Norwich on 8 November and their poor recent run has seen them slip to 10th in the Sky Bet Championship table.

Birmingham's good recent run of form was brought to an abrupt end by Derby County on Boxing Day as the Blues were beaten 4-0 on home turf, their first home defeat under manager Gary Rowett.

Since taking over at St Andrew's at the end of October, Rowett has overseen five wins, two draws and two defeats from his nine matches as Birmingham continue to climb away from the relegation zone.

Haven't we met before?

The two sides met just a month ago as Birmingham ran out 2-1 winners at St Andrew's thanks to Paul Caddis's late penalty after Britt Assombalonga had cancelled out David Cotterill's early strike.

In the corresponding fixture last season, Matt Derbyshire's goal was enough to separate the sides at The City Ground as Forest kept their slim play-off hopes alive under the caretaker management of Gary Brazil.


Are tickets available?

Tickets are still available for tomorrow's clash against Birmingham City. Click here for more details and for a list of prices.

Is there a programme?

The official matchday programme is available to buy and download for tomorrow's meeting with Birmingham City.

In this edition, priced £3, there's a look back at 2014 with a special Forest A-Z, an in-depth look at the visitors Birmingham City while the Guardian's chief football writer Daniel Taylor and comedian Matt Forde both pen their entertaining columns.

Forest fans are reminded that they can download the official matchday magazine to their iPad or iPhone. Perfect for supporters unable to attend the game, the download can be accessed via this app from tomorrow morning.

Hard copies will be available from all the usual outlets around The City Ground.

What if I can't make the game?

Live audio commentary will be available on Forest Player, as well as free live text commentary on www.nottinghamforest.co.uk and via @Official_NFFC on Twitter.

Forest Player will also have extended match highlights from 12pm on Monday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp.

What are the odds?

Nottingham Forest are the 5/6 favourites to take all three points against Birmingham City tomorrow with the draw priced at 13/5 and an away win priced out at 16/5.

Chris Burke can be backed at 7/2 to score against his former club or for those who fancy the Forest winger to net the first goal of the game, that has odds of 10/1.

A repeat of Forest's 1-0 win in the same fixture last season is priced at 6/1 while a more comfortable 3-0 home victory can be backed at 14/1.

Please visit www.skybet.com/forest for all the latest odds for Forest v Birmingham.

Who is in charge?

Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistant Referees: David Richardson and William Smallwood
Fourth Official: Andy Woolmer

Who else is playing?

Blackburn v Middlesbrough
Blackpool v Rotherham
Cardiff v Watford
Huddersfield v Bolton
Millwall v Bournemouth
Reading v Norwich
Wolves v Brentford
Fulham v Brighton (Monday, kick-off 8pm)
Derby v Leeds (Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm)
Ipswich v Charlton (Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm)
Wigan v Sheffield Wednesday (Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm)


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