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Match Previews

Match preview: Blackburn (H)

13 April 2017

Nottingham Forest welcome Blackburn Rovers to The City Ground in the Sky Bet Championship clash on Friday 14 April (kick-off 3pm).


Nottingham Forest entertain fellow relegation candidates Blackburn Rovers at The City Ground on Good Friday in what is set to be a key encounter to see who drops out of the Championship. The Reds picked up a vital three points on Saturday with a brilliant win over Huddersfield Town, moving them five points clear of the drop zone heading into the Easter weekend. 

Rovers on the other hand put in a disappointing performance in the 2-0 defeat against Barnsley at Ewood Park and Tony Mowbray's side currently occupy the final relegation spot, sitting four points adrift of Bristol City. Blackburn will be desperate to get something out of the match on Trentside ahead of another big game against Bristol City on Monday, while a win for Forest would move them eight points clear with only 12 to play for. 

Danny Fox is available for The Reds again after completing a one-game suspension following his red card against Wolves and Mark Warburton will have to decide whether to stick to his three-man defence which performed admirably against Huddersfield or revert to a more familiar back four. Jack Hobbs will be pushing to be included after making his return to training and Armand Traore is set to be available despite limping out of the win on Saturday.

Blackburn will give last-minute checks to first-choice goalkeeper Jason Steele and striker Danny Graham ahead of the clash at The City Ground. Both picked up injuries in last weekend's defeat against Barnsley so it could mean a first start since January for goalkeeper David Raya. Injuries continue to sideline Darragh Lenihan, Charlie Mulgrew, Gordon Greer and Adam Henley but Anthony Stokes could be in line for a first-team return after injury. 

Nottingham Forest

Brentford (H) - Lost 3-2
Burton (A) - Lost 1-0
Derby (H) - Drew 2-2
Preston (A) - Drew 1-1
Wolves (A) Lost 1-0
Huddersfield (H) - Won 2-0

Blackburn Rovers

Norwich (A) - Drew 2-2
Fulham (A) - Drew 2-2
Preston (H) - Drew 2-2
Brighton (A) - Lost 1-0
Reading (A) - Lost 3-1
Barnsley (H) - Lost 2-0


Connor Mahoney

Connor Mahoney started just his second league game of the season in the defeat against Barnsley last weekend but he was praised for his ability to create chances for Rovers. The 20-year-old is a left-footed player playing on the right of midfield and his delivery caused problems for the Barnsley defence. His close control and technical ability mean that he is likely to be Blackburn's most creative force on Friday.

Blackburn-born Mahoney became the third youngster player ever to make a senior appearance for the club when he made came on as a late substitute as a 16-year-old in the FA Cup replay against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in January 2014 and made his league debut for Rovers against Forest in April 2016. 

Tony Mowbray said that his side have to go out and get the three points at The City Ground, despite having pressing injury concerns. 

He said: "With [Jason] Steele there's a slight concern but if the goalie is not available then we have another one to play in the net in David Raya. He's athletic, trains really well and I watched him at Ewood the other night for the Under-23s and he has good distribution, he's alert and is bouncy and is a lot like a continental goalkeeper. But like any goalkeeper he gets judged on what he does on the pitch and if he does get an opportunity then he has a chance to show his qualities and hopefully helps us keep a clean sheet.

"Danny Graham is going to try to train with us today. He was out with the physios for 10-15 minutes yesterday to see if it was loose enough to do anything. If he is going to have a chance to play then he needs to come and train today. We have to pick a team and try and get some results. We are fully aware of that, we've been saying it for a long time, we have to win matches and the next opportunity is Nottingham Forest. We'll go to Nottingham in a positive frame of mind and try and get three points."

NFFC members can claim a £10 discount on their match ticket for this fixture and one membership entitles the supporter to one discounted match ticket purchased using their customer number. The discount applies to adult and senior NFFC members only and does not include Junior Reds memberships.

Members of the Armed Forces can also watch the match for just £10. Details of this offer can be found here.

Tickets are priced (matchday rate in brackets) as follows:

General sale
 
Adults: £24 (£26) - (NFFC members - £14)
Seniors: £17 (£19) - (NFFC members - £7)
Under 18s: £12 (£12)
Under 12s: £6 (£6)
 
Family Area
 
Adults: £19 (£21) - (NFFC members - £9)
Seniors: £14 (£16) - (NFFC members - £4)
Under 18s: £10 (£10)
Under 12s: £5 (£5)

Tickets can be purchased in-person at the ticket office, online at tickets.nottinghamforest.co.uk or by calling 0115 982 4388.

Live audio commentary of the game will be available on Forest Player HD from 2pm while there will also be live text commentary available on the Forest Wall and on the club's Twitter page from 2.30pm. Forest Player HD will also have extended match highlights from 12pm on Saturday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp after the game.

To win:

Nottingham Forest - 5/4
Blackburn Rovers - 9/4
Draw - 23/10

To score first:

Britt Assombalonga - 4/1
Zach Clough - 6/1
Sam Gallagher - 11/2
Danny Graham - 11/2

Fixtures to be played at 3pm on Friday unless otherwise stated.

Wigan v Barnsley (Thursday, kick-off 7.45pm)
Brentford v Derby
Bristol City v QPR
Huddersfield v Preston
Norwich v Fulham
Rotherham v Birmingham
Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff
Wolves v Brighton (kick-off 5pm)
Burton v Ipswich (kick-off 7.45pm)
Newcastle v Leeds (kick-off 7.45pm)
Aston Villa v Reading (Saturday, kick-off 3pm)

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