Forest Fire In City Stadium On SaturdayStats
Cardiff v Nottm Forest
Unbeaten Nottingham Forest travel to Wales for a Saturday afternoon clash which could see the visitors move back to the top of the pile in the Championship.
Since a decent start to their season, Cardiff have faltered badly, with five losses in their last eight in all competitions and only one league win since August after earning two victories from their opening four. They were beaten 1-0 by lowly Blackpool a fortnight ago to leave them without an away win to date this season while their only victory over the past two months came against Sheffield Wednesday at the tail end of September.
With Russell Slade now officially installed in place of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the former Leyton Orient boss will hope to turn their fortunes around quickly as he has announced the side’s target for the season in a playoff finish but the Bluebirds are already six points adrift of sixth spot on 13 points and currently lie 15th.
Although they have now been overtaken at the summit of the Championship following three successive draws, Forest fans will be delighted with their start to the season as they are second in the table level on points with both Norwich and Watford, without a league defeat this term.
They were indebted to Michail Antonio for keeping that record intact in their last outing as the winger’s fifth league goal of the season salvaged a point at home when he levelled the scores at 2-2 in the last minute against an in-form Ipswich. Forest also boast the division’s top scorer in Britt Asombalonga, who has eight strikes to his name, but has now failed to score in his last four.
Slade has already claimed it will be a fresh start for the club’s players under his management with those who found themselves on the fringes previously back in contention. He has also spoken of an inclination toward attacking football featuring two strikers so a pair from Federico Macheda, Adam Le Fondre, Nicky Maynard, Kenwyne Jones and Ravel Morrison look set to feature from the off. The new boss has no fresh injury concerns to deal with for his first game at the helm.
Forest boss Stuart Pearce was given a double injury blow this week with both midfielder Andy Reid and defender Jack Hobbs ruled out until after Christmas with groin and ankle injuries respectively. They join club captain Chris Cohen and striker Dexter Balckstock on the sidelines in a squad which is now becoming quite stretched.
There’s been very little to choose between these sides over the past couple of seasons with three wins apiece from their past six meetings and their two games prior to those ending in draws. Although, the Bluebirds were unbeaten and earned four wins from six games from 2003 to 2009 and ran out easy 3-0 winners when the sides last met at the Cardiff City stadium in April 2013.
For a team who have yet to taste defeat and have conceded just three times on their travels this season, Forest look great value to pick up three points again here at 9/5, with the draw no bet at evens a decent backup.
They have, however, scored only five in six games away from the City Ground, and with Cardiff struggling for goals – they’ve scored just five in the past six – Under 2.5 goals looks well-priced at 5/6 too.