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Match pack: Watford (H)

15 April 2015

Get all the news and views ahead of Nottingham Forest's Sky Bet Championship clash with Watford at The City Ground tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).


        Nottingham Forest v Watford          
   Sky Bet Championship
Wednesday 15 April 2015 (kick-off 7.45pm)
The City Ground

Pre-match brief

Nottingham Forest host automatic promotion-chasing Watford in their penultimate home match of the season tonight as they aim to bounce back from Saturday's disappointing 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town.

The Reds will be hoping to put on a show for their supporters while denting the Hornets’ hopes of reaching the Premier League but have a tough ask against a Watford side who have won more games than any team in the Championship.

Tonight's contest is the 50th competitive meeting between the two sides and supporters will be hoping for a continuation of recent games between Forest and Watford which have seen 12 goals shared in three matches.

Team news

Nottingham Forest midfielder Gary Gardner is once again available for selection after completing a two-match suspension for picking up ten bookings so the on-loan Aston Villa man could come straight back into the side.

Young duo Tyler Walker and Oliver Burke will both be pushing for appearances after coming off the bench in the defeat to Huddersfield but both Mo Barrow and Dexter Blackstock are set to be fit to face the Hornets.

Watford defender Craig Cathcart is fit to face Forest after missing Saturday's win at Millwall with a calf strain but the creative Fernando Forestieri will be absent from the side as he continues to recover from a knee injury. 

Hornets boss Slavisa Jokanovic will also be without the services of Swedish defender Joel Ekstrand and tough-tackling midfielder Sean Murray as the duo are currently sidelined with long-term knee ligament damage.

View from the Red corner

Dougie Freedman: “We’ve come up against a couple of teams who are flying high right now. We’ve put in good performances but have just come up a bit short. This is a challenge we’re looking forward to.

“The players have been fantastic since I walked through the door. From the season looking promising, to looking at relegation, it’s been a very emotional season and I think you’ve seen the effects of that.”

Click here to read more of the manager's thoughts ahead of the clash with Watford.

What's the form guide?

Nottingham Forest go into tonight's match without a win in three games and manager Dougie Freedman believes the players’ recent efforts are beginning to catch up with them at the end of an 'emotional season'.

Freedman was disappointed with the way his side started the Huddersfield match (0-1), which came on the back of late heartbreak at Brentford (2-2) and a frustrating home defeat against Wolves (1-2).


Watford have enjoyed better fortunes recently, securing an impressive point at Derby (2-2) with only ten men before brushing promotion rivals Middlesbrough aside at Vicarage Road on Easter Monday (2-0).

They beat struggling Millwall 2-0 at the Den on Saturday and will see three points on Trentside as a necessity if they are to stay in the hunt for a top-two finish following last night's results in the Sky Bet Championship.

Haven't we met before?

Nottingham Forest and Watford shared a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture at Vicarage Road in October as Michail Antonio's brace helped Forest to come from behind twice to take an important point from Hertfordshire.

Last season's meeting between the two sides at The City Ground was a memorable one as Forest hit back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 thanks to a brace from Simon Cox and goals from Darius Henderson and Jamie Mackie.

Watford's last victory on Trentside came in January 2013 as the Hornets secured a comfortable 3-0 win at The City Ground thanks to a brace from Matej Vydra and a strike from Troy Deeney.


Are tickets available?

Tickets are still available for tonight's game against Watford.

For more details and for a full list of prices, please click here.

Is there hospitality available?

Fans looking to watch the game against Watford in style can do so with an 1865 Club hospitality ticket, priced at £80 + VAT.

For more information or to book a hospitality package, please call 0115 982 4450 or email hospitality@nottinghamforest.co.uk.

What else is happening?

Forever Stars will be holding a bucket collection around the ground pre-match.

Forever Stars is a local charity set up by Richard Daniels and his wife Michelle following the loss of their baby daughter when she was born asleep in December 2013. The charity is fundraising to set up a bereavement suite in the Queen’s Medical Centre for people who have similar experiences.

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 Thursday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp.

Is there a programme?

The official matchday programme is available to buy and download for tonight's meeting with Watford.

The 76-page edition, priced at £3, includes columns from Fawaz Al Hasawi, Dougie Freedman and Chris Cohen as well as an interview with Dexter Blackstock as he looks back on making 150 appearances for The Reds.

There is an in-depth look at tonight's promotion-chasing visitors Watford, a check on the Championship promotion race and relegation battle and a profile on Matthew Farugia, founder of the Maltese branch of the Forest Supporters' Club.

Forest fans are reminded that they can download the official matchday magazine to their iPad, iPhone or Android device. Perfect for supporters unable to attend the game, the download can be accessed via this app now for Apple users or via this link for Android users.

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

What are the odds?

Nottingham Forest are the 11/5 outsiders to take all three points against promotion-chasing Watford tonight with the draw priced at 5/2 and a win for the away side slightly further in at 13/10.

A repeat of Forest's 4-2 win in the corresponding fixture last season can be backed at 66/1 or for supporters who fancy a 2-1 win for The Reds this evening that has odds of 10/1.

Michail Antonio netted a brace in the meeting between the two sides in October and the flying Forest winger can be backed at 8/1 to score the first goal tonight or at 11/4 to score at any time during the 90 minutes.

For all the latest odds on tonight's game, please visit www.skybet.com/forest and make a prediction for Forest v Watford.

Who is in charge?

Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistant Referees: Wayne Barratt and Daniel Leach 
Fourth official: Christopher Kavanagh

Who else is playing?

Fulham v Rotherham (Wednesday, kick-off 8pm)


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