Nottingham Forest will look to end the 2013-14 campaign on a high by completing a league double over play-off chasing Brighton and Hove Albion (kick-off 12.15pm).Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Bournemouth has ended The Reds’ chances of finishing in the top six but they will want to head into the summer on a positive note with a win over The Seagulls.
Oscar Garcia’s men still harbour hopes of reaching the play-offs but know they will need to better Reading’s result against already-promoted Burnley at The Madejski Stadium.
Doubts still remain over the fitness of Karl Darlow and Jamie Paterson. Darlow has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury, while Paterson was unavailable for the defeat at Bournemouth.
Dorus de Vries will be hoping to continue in goal should Darlow not be passed fit, while youngsters Ben Osborn and Stephen McLaughlin will be hoping to keep their places in the starting line-up. Greg Halford will miss the game through suspension.
Former England defender Matthew Upson is an injury doubt for The Seagulls. He missed Friday’s victory over Yeovil with an ankle injury.
Dale Stephens was substituted late on in the win at The AMEX, also with an ankle injury and will need to be assessed before Saturday. Rohan Ince is in line for a return though after a month on the sidelines.
Forest’s play-off hopes were ended by a 4-1 loss at Bournemouth on Saturday which also prevented The Reds from making it three wins on the bounce.
Form has been inconsistent for Gary Brazil’s side over recent weeks but victory over Brighton could be enough to secure a top-ten finish.
Millwall (H) – Lost 2-1
Sheffield Wednesday (H) – Drew 3-3
QPR (A) – Lost 5-2
Birmingham (H) - Won 1-0
Leeds (A) – Won 2-0
Bournemouth (A) – Lost 4-1
Brighton will arrive at The City Ground on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run which has seen them record wins over Leicester, Charlton and Yeovil in the process.
Consecutive draws against Huddersfield and Blackpool could prove costly in The Seagulls’ race to reach the top six but they sit just one point adrift of the play-off places heading into this game.
Brighton have only been beaten six times on the road this season while conceding a league-lowest tally of 18 goals during their away campaign.
Barnsley (A) – Drew 0-0
Leicester (A) – Won 4-1
Charlton (H) – Won 3-0
Huddersfield (A) – Drew 1-1
Blackpool (H) – Drew 1-1
Yeovil (H) – Won 2-0
Down The Years
Forest wins over Brighton: 14 (12 League, 2 League Cup)
Brighton wins over Forest: 7 (7 League)
Draws: 9 (8 League, 1 League Cup)
The last meeting between the sides saw Forest run out 3-1 winners at The Amex Stadium in October as they moved up to 4th in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Andrew Crofts had given the home side the lead but a brace from Henri Lansbury either side of a strike from Darius Henderson gave The Reds all three points on the south coast.
The two teams shared a thrilling 2-2 draw in their last meeting at The City Ground in March 2013 as both sides kept their playoff hopes alive.
Lewis McGugan had cancelled out Leonardo Ulloa’s opener but a late goal from Will Buckley had appeared to give Brighton the win before Henri Lansbury struck in stoppage time to earn a point.
He Played For Both
Gonzalo Jara moved to Brighton on loan from West Bromwich Albion in 2011 and featured in a 1-0 win over Forest in December of that year. Jara would go on to make 14 appearances during two separate loan spells at the club before returning to The Hawthorns in May 2012.
The Chilean defender joined Forest on an initial loan deal from West Brom in January 2013 before making the deal permanent in the summer. Jara has made 55 outings for The Reds since joining the club and continues to be a versatile performer in the Forest defence.
Referee: Keith Stroud
Assistant Referees: Ian Crouch and Ian Fissenden
Fourth Official: Keith Hill
Nottingham Forest are the 2/1 outsiders to take all three points against Brighton on the final day of the season while the draw is priced at 23/10.
A repeat of the last result at The City Ground, a 1-0 Forest win, is priced at 9/1 while a thrilling 3-2 Reds victory has odds of 33/1.
Matt Derbyshire can be backed at 12/5 to return to scoring ways against Brighton while Jamaal Lascelles is priced at 25/1 to be the first goalscorer for supporters who fancy an outside bet.
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 Brighton.
In this edition, priced £3, there is a pictorial look back at the 2013-14 campaign, Ben Osborn talks about his rapid rise into the first team while Nottingham Trent University students look at all the permutations on the final day of the Sky Bet Championship.
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 11.15am 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 for the match (Saturday 3 May, kick-off 12.15pm) 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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