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Match Previews

Match preview: Forest vs Birmingham

24 August 2018

Nottingham Forest are back at The City Ground as they welcome Birmingham City for Saturday evening's Sky Bet Championship clash (kick-off 5.30pm).

The Reds ground out a point against Wigan last weekend, with Hillal Soudani's injury-time leveller securing a point and preserving Forest's unbeaten run heading into this weekend's game.

Birmingham have yet to find a win this season, drawing two and losing two of their opening four games, and Aitor Karanka's men will be hoping to add to the misery for Garry Monk's side. 

Team news

Aitor Karanka has confirmed that Adlene Guedioura will miss out for The Reds having picked up a small cheekbone fracture following a clash in last weekend's game against Wigan.

There are plenty of options to replace the Algerian though, with Ben Watson likely to deputise in the starting line-up and Ryan Yates and Liam Bridcutt pushing for a place in the squad.

Jordan Smith is also available again for selection following the completion of his one-match suspension.

From the Forest camp

See what Aitor Karanka and Michael Dawson had to say before the game below:

Blues' view

Birmingham manager Garry Monk feels that the results for his side will come if they keep performing in the manner that they have done.

A goalless draw against Swansea last weekend was followed up with a narrow 1-0 defeat against Bolton in midweek and Monk feels his side should have taken more from those games.

He said: "We spoke about it last season, that we were a team that wasn't creating a lot of chances or putting ourselves in positions to score goals, but we're definitely doing that now.

"Of course, everybody will look at the stats in terms of the goals we've scored so far, but I think it's clear in all the games we should have a lot more goals.

"On Friday against Swansea we dominated for the 90 minutes and created numerous chances and against Bolton we dominated for 70 minutes up to the goal, although we didn't create quite as many.

"But it's up to us to take advantage of the dominance and control that we've been having in the games, especially in the last games and give reward to that effort."

One to watch - Jacques Maghoma

Creative midfielder Jacques Maghoma played a key role for Birmingham last season as they retained their Championship status, and he will be the main man again this term as Garry Monk's side aim for a better season on the pitch.

A player who is able to create chances out of nothing, the DR Congo international is likely to be heavily involved in things going forward for Blues on Saturday.

Head to head

Forest wins - 42
Birmingham wins - 39
Draws - 33

Last time out - Forest 2-1 Birmingham (Saturday 3rd March, 2018 - Sky Bet Championship)

Tickets

There are limited tickets available in some areas of The City Ground with another big crowd expected on Trentside.

Full ticket information can be found here.

Coverage

Due to the match being shown live on Sky Sports, there will be no live broadcast of the game on iFollow Forest. However, audio commentary provided by BBC Radio Nottingham will be available.

There will also be full coverage of the game 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:

Middlesbrough v West Brom (Friday, 7.45pm)
Aston Villa v Reading
Blackburn v Brentford
Bolton v Sheffield United
Derby v Preston
Norwich v Leeds
QPR v Wigan
Sheffield Wednesday v Ipswich
Stoke v Hull
Swansea v Bristol City
Rotherham v Millwall (Sunday, 12.30pm)


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