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Match Previews

Preview: Sunderland (H)

29 December 2017

Nottingham Forest will be looking to end 2017 on a high when Sunderland are the visitors to The City Ground on Saturday.

The Reds had a disappointing Boxing Day with a 3-0 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday, and Mark Warburton's men will be aiming to bounce back against The Black Cats.

Sunderland have had a difficult return to the second tier and find themselves in the bottom three heading into the final round of fixtures of the calendar year.

Chris Coleman's appointment as manager has seen a slight upturn in results but the former Welsh national side boss will be looking for more from his side if they are to avoid a successive relegation.

See below for the pre-match views from the Forest camp.

Team news

Former Sunderland pair Daryl Murphy and David Vaughan are expected to return to the matchday squad after not being invovled on Boxing Day, while Danny Fox and Matt Mills could also be in contention.

From the opposition

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman said he needs to find solutions to his side's problems and fast after a disappointing display against Sheffield United on Boxing Day.

The Black Cats lost 3-0 and Coleman said his side's performance was unforgivable. Speaking after the game, he said: "It was a bitterly disappointing performance. I think we just swallowed it really, whatever Sheffield United threw at us. As soon as we were 1-0 down, we just accepted a low level performance from each other.

"It is the first time I have seen that from them. When you are in that position it is not anger, it is apathy which is very dangerous.

"It is okay winning one and then everyone gets a bit excited and then we reveal ourselves. We are here for a reason, unless we get better, stronger, meaner and hungrier then we won't ever get away from where we are.

"I am saying they, I don't just mean the players. Me too. It is my team now. What we had on offer was nowhere near good enough.

"I have to find answers and solutions quickly. It is as simple as that."

One to watch - Lewis Grabban

Lewis Grabban has been Sunderland's main goal threat this season and has scored an impressive 12 goals to date. 

The on-loan Bournemouth man will be key to any survival hopes that Sunderland have but he is a doubt for Saturday's game having missed the match on Boxing Day through injury. 

Last time out

Tickets

Tickets are selling well for the final match on 2017 and you can still purchase online, in-person or by calling 0115 982 4388.

Full details can be found here.

Coverage

International subscribers to iFollow Forest will be able to watch the game live, while there will also be audio commentary available.

There will also be full coverage via the club's official social media channels and in the Match Centre.

Other fixtures

All fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated:

Cardiff v Preston (Friday, 7.45pm)
Millwall v QPR (Friday, 7.45pm)
Barnsley v Reading
Birmingham v Leeds
Brentford v Sheffield Wednesday
Burton v Norwich
Hull v Fulham
Ipswich v Derby
Middlesbrough v Aston Villa
Sheffield United v Bolton
Bristol City v Wolves (5.30pm)


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