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Much like against Leeds, no reminders should be needed for the Forest players about what has gone before – in this case also in the King Power Stadium against tonight’s hosts. Forest take to the road for their game in hand match against the Foxes. A 3-7 thriller at Leeds on their last trip, and a performance that belied the draw we earned at home to Brighton sees the Reds in much more productive mood of late.
Our hosts are sniffing around the play-off periphery, a five point gap separates them from the end-of-season lottery whilst of course we have a similar gap between ourselves and the drop zone. The Reds will be pleased to have Garath McCleary fit despite not completing the full match against Brighton, and there’s the distinct possibility that injured loan duo Danny Higginbotham and George Elokobi might be sufficiently recovered to play a part.
Leicester will be missing their captain Neil Danns, after he was dismissed for trying to snap our former captain Paul McKenna in half in their last game against Hull. They may have the opportunity to welcome back Richie Wellens to the fold having missed the weekend match with a calf problem. They are without Paul Gallagher, Andy King, Darius Vassell and Martin Waghorn through injury so it’s fortunate they’ve got such a massive squad!
Of course, there will be the possibility of the incongruous sight of former Reds stalwart Wes Morgan in a Leicester shirt. The big defender took a while to break into the Foxes first team but has impressed with his performances at the back since he has had his chance – as I’m sure we knew he would. I’d hope that he’ll get a good reception from the Reds, he served us well and faithfully and even gave us the opportunity of a cash windfall when needed.
Our last game against Leicester was in the FA Cup where we frankly put on a disgraceful performance – having dragged a 0-0 draw out at the City Ground the replay in Leicester ended with a 4-0 drubbing, including a hattrick for Jermaine Beckford. I wonder what happened to the last team that drubbed us 4-0 before that? It might be a bit too much to hope for a ten goal thriller – but I’m sure the Foxes won’t be taking us too lightly.
I’m still pretty pessimistic as ever – two quality performances from the Reds in a row leave me awaiting the suckerpunch which has generally followed after just one decent showing this season. With Steve Cotterill seemingly starting to stick with selections and styles that have been working then maybe I’m being over-cautious in predicting negativity, but well, y’know, once bitten twice shy – so if you’ve been bitten as many times as we have then you’d be daft not to be a little wary.
With the right kind of performance though there’s no reason why the Reds can’t profit from the trip – Leicester have been the picture of inconsistency since the return of Nigel Pearson, and of course with the game being our game-in-hand over others this will provide the opportunity to find out exactly how the land lies in the league table, with Doncaster visiting Crystal Palace and Portsmouth hosting Hull also this evening.
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