Nottingham Forest will have a first home league win since 2 February in their sights when they entertain relegation-threatened Doncaster Rovers on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).Paul Dickov’s side will come to Trentside in high spirits after consecutive wins over Huddersfield and Watford but will still be looking over their shoulders at the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.
Revenge may also be on the minds of some of the Forest players after Rovers recorded a 2-1 win in their last visit to The City Ground.
Andy Reid played 20 minutes of Forest’s 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough on Tuesday and is expected to be involved once again while Rafik Djebbour’s fitness will have to be monitored ahead of the match.
Eric Lichaj, Kelvin Wilson, Jack Hobbs, Chris Cohen, Henri Lansbury, David Vaughan and Dexter Blackstock remain long-term absentees.
Doncaster defender Abdoulaye Meite limped off during Rovers’ 2-1 win over Watford on Tuesday night with a hamstring strain and will need to be assessed ahead of the game.
Ross Turnbull, Rob Jones, Bongani Khumalo, Jamie McCombe and Gabriel Tamas all remain sidelined through injury but Billy Sharp is expected to be named in the starting line-up.
The Reds currently sit at the wrong end of the form table with just five points taken from their last six matches but they did stop a run of defeats with a gritty 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough on Tuesday.
Only Charlton and QPR have picked up fewer points than Forest over their last six games but Billy Davies’ side will be confident of ending their poor run of form with a win over Doncaster.
Forest have won just one of the last six meetings between the sides at The City Ground but three points will be vital if they are to keep up in the promotion race.
Sheffield United (A)* – Lost 3-1
Leicester (H) – Drew 2-2
Burnley (A) - Lost 3-1
Wigan (H) - Lost 4-1
Barnsley (A) - Lost 1-0
Middlesbrough (A) – Drew 1-1
*FA Cup with Budweiser
Doncaster have suffered mixed fortunes over recent weeks with disappointing defeats at Yeovil and Bournemouth being followed by excellent home wins over Huddersfield and Watford.
Those consecutive wins have stretched the gap between Rovers and the relegation zone to seven points but they have played more games than any of the bottom three teams.
Paul Dickov’s side currently have the second-worst away record in the division this season with their only success coming in a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday back in September.
Brighton (A) – Lost 1-0
Barnsley (H) – Drew 2-2
Yeovil (A) – Lost 1-0
Bournemouth (A) – Lost 5-0
Huddersfield (H) – Won 2-0
Watford (H) – Won 2-1
Down The Years
Forest wins over Doncaster: 19 (15 League, 3 League Cup, 1 FA Cup)
Doncaster wins over Forest: 9 (8 League, 1 FA Cup)
Draws: 10 (10 League)
The last meeting between the two sides came in September as Andy Reid’s strike nine minutes from time secured a point for Forest following an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Federico Macheda had put Doncaster ahead but his effort was cancelled out by Chris Cohen’s goal five minutes before half time.
Macheda’s second goal of the game appeared to have given Rovers all three points but Reid’s 25-yard drive ensured that the spoils were shared at The Keepmoat Stadium.
The last meeting between the teams at The City Ground came in March 2012 as goals from Frederic Piquionne and Kyle Bennett gave Doncaster the win despite Dexter Blackstock’s late reply for Forest.
He Played For Both
Simon Gillett joined Doncaster on an initial loan deal from Southampton in October 2009 and impressed suitably to earn a permanent contract in the following summer. The central midfielder made 81 appearances during his time at The Keepmoat Stadium before moving to Forest.
After joining The Reds in the summer of 2012, Gillett went on to make 27 outings for the club last season as they narrowly missed out on a playoff place. He made two appearances for Forest earlier in the campaign before joining Bristol City on loan until the end of the season.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton
Assistant Referees: Robert Ellis and Robert Hyde
Fourth Official: Gary Sutton
Nottingham Forest are the clear 1/2 favourites to take all three points against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday with the draw being priced at 14/5.
A repeat scoreline of Forest’s last home league win, the 3-1 victory over Yeovil Town, can be backed at 12/1 while a more slender 1-0 win for The Reds has odds of 11/2.
Darius Henderson notched The Reds’ equaliser at Middlesbrough on Tuesday night and the striker has odds of 4/1 to score the first goal on Saturday or can be backed at evens to score in 90 minutes.
Check out all of the latest odds on Sky Bet.
(All odds are subject to change)
The official matchday magazine is available to buy and download for Saturday’s meeting with Doncaster Rovers.
In this edition, priced £3, Billy Davies discusses the recent poor run of form, Greg Halford gives a fascinating insight into his career and Jonathan Greening talks about returning to the first-team setup at the age of 35.
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 15 March, 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).