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Match Previews

Preview: Birmingham (H)

2 March 2018

Nottingham Forest are back in action at The City Ground on Saturday when Birmingham City are the visitors in the Sky Bet Championship.

Confidence is high in the Forest dressing room after the thumping 5-2 win against QPR last weekend, which made it three games unbeaten for Aitor Karanka's side.

The Reds will be keen to carry on where they left off for the visit of The Blues as they seek back-to-back wins.

Birmingham have had a tough time of it this season and come into this weekend's fixtures in the bottom three.

Manager Steve Cotterill has come under some pressure as their form has suffered, but his side will be fighting for everything come 3pm on Saturday.

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

Team news

The Reds are nearing full strength for Saturday's game as Michael Mancienne and Apostolos Vellios returned to the squad last weekend after being ill, while Daryl Murphy has also recovered having suffered with the same illness.

Jack Hobbs made a welcome return to training this week but David Vaughan continues to be sidelined. Eric Lichaj sits out the final match of his three-game suspension.

From the opposition

Birmingham boss Steve Cotterill has come under increasing pressure following their poor form and understands the fans' frustrations as he seeks to turn things around.

Cotterill is expecting his players to put in a committed display at The City Ground tomorrow to try and get something from the game.

He said: "I understand their frustrations I really do, I bumped into quite a few fans this week and it has been quite good for me.

"The first one said don't take it personal this has gone on for a long time, he was very supportive. Then the same happened another day, he said this has been going on a long time, you are copping the brunt of it.

"I think our fans are great, I get where they are with it, they are passionate about their club like I am about the club.

"We are on the same page. Over the last month we haven't given them the performance they deserve, I am sorry about that because it is not the performance that I or the players want."

He added: "I am expecting the players to be committed, I want them to show our supporters that they really really care about the football club.

"Commitment is paramount from our supporters. I know they don't get to see it on a daily basis but we are all committed."

One to watch - Jacques Maghoma

The attacking midfielder has come to the fore as one of Blues' key players in recent weeks and is set to take centre stage again on Saturday.

The DR Congo international had been out of favour under previous managers, but his ability to create chances and score them himself could prove crucial for Birmingham in the run-in.

Last visit

Tickets

Tickets for Saturday's match are still available and full details can be found here.

Coverage

Due to broadcasting restrictions, the match will not be shown live on iFollow Forest for international subscribers but audio commentary via BBC Radio Nottingham will be available.

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

Other fixtures

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

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


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