Nottingham Forest aim to make it ten games unbeaten in all competitions when they take on Blackburn Rovers at The City Ground on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).The Reds have won three straight matches on their own turf, against QPR, Leeds and West Ham, and know a fourth would keep them in touch with the league leaders.
Rovers have not won a league game on Trentside since March 2000 but Gary Bowyer’s side will be keen to break that duck as they continue their push for the playoffs.
Jack Hobbs was forced off in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bolton with a hamstring injury and is set to miss the clash with Blackburn as a result.
Hobbs joins Chris Cohen, Kelvin Wilson and Dexter Blackstock on the sidelines and it remains to be seen whether Eric Lichaj and David Vaughan will be declared fit in time for the match.
Blackburn’s top scorer Jordan Rhodes and defender Scott Dann both missed Wednesday’s trip to Manchester City through injury while goalkeeper Paul Robinson limped off at half-time with a hamstring strain.
It remains to be seen whether the trio make the squad for Saturday’s game but Dickson Etuhu and Corry Evans remain long-term absentees through injury.
Forest are currently unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions and kept up that excellent record as Jamie Paterson’s fourth goal in two games secured a 1-1 draw at Bolton last weekend.
Birmingham (A) – Drew 0-0
QPR (H) – Won 2-0
Leeds (H) – Won 2-1
Reading (A) – Drew 1-1
West Ham (H)* – Won 5-0
Bolton (A) – Drew 1-1
Blackburn are in the midst of a strong run of league form which has seen them win three of their last five Championship matches, including an impressive 2-1 win at Leeds on New Year’s Day.
Gary Bowyer’s side now sit just two points outside the playoff places and know a win at The City Ground could elevate them into the league’s top six.
Their confidence may have taken something of a knock on Wednesday night however, as they were thrashed 5-0 at Manchester City in their FA Cup with Budweiser third-round replay.
Sheffield Wednesday (H) – Drew 0-0
Birmingham (H) – Lost 3-2
Leeds (A) – Won 2-1
Manchester City (H) – Drew 1-1
Doncaster (H) – Won 1-1
Manchester City (A)* – Lost 5-0
Down The Years
Forest wins over Blackburn: 33 (30 League, 2 League Cup, 1 FA Cup)
Blackburn wins over Forest: 49 (44 League, 2 League Cup, 3 FA Cup)
Draws: 28 (25 League, 1 League Cup, 2 FA Cup)
The two teams last met back in August as Darius Henderson’s last-minute winner gave Forest all three points in their first away game of the 2013-14 season.
Chances had been sparse in a fiercely-fought contest at Ewood Park but, after Jamie Mackie had forced goalkeeper Jake Kean into a mistake, Henderson expertly tucked the ball away.
The last meeting between the sides at The City Ground came in October 2012 as Forest were held to a goalless draw despite dominating proceedings.
He Played For Both
John Curtis moved to Blackburn from Manchester United for £1.5million in 2000 and was an ever-present figure as Rovers were promoted to the Premier League. After making 78 appearances at Ewood Park over a three-year spell, Curtis left for Leicester in August 2003.
Signed on a free transfer from Portsmouth in 2005, Curtis spent just over two years on Trentside and made 90 appearances. He established himself as Forest’s first-choice right back during his time at The City Ground before moving on another free transfer to QPR in the summer of 2007.
Referee: Darren Deadman
Assistant Referees: Simon Brown and Guy Stretton
Fourth Official: David Avent
Forest are the favourites to take the win on Saturday and can be backed at 10/11, while the draw is priced 12/5.
The Reds have been in good form at The City Ground in recent weeks and a 3-0 Forest win is priced 16/1. A 3-1 win is slightly shorter at 14/1.
Jamie Paterson has notched four goals in two games and the winger can be backed at 7/1 to grab the first goal on Saturday, or at 12/5 to score in 90 minutes.
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 Saturday’s meeting with Blackburn Rovers.
In this edition, priced £3, Billy Davies gives his thoughts on his side’s recent form, Guy Moussi chats about his return to the Forest starting line-up and Greg Halford discusses life as a striker.
Forest fans are reminded 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.
Tickets (Saturday 18 January, 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).