Forest vs. Bristol City preview..

I know I often rightly get pulled up for being a pessimistic bugger, but surely this impressive run of results (and indeed, for the most part, performances to go with them) has to come to an end sooner or later.  With wee Billy a candidate (albeit with some stiff competition) for the monthly managerial accolade, perhaps if that happens it will act as the theoretical bad omen?  Or maybe I’m just being Mr Negative and it won’t.

Bristol City certainly aren’t mugs.  I say that a lot, the truth is that no side in this league are really mugs – well, possibly one not too far away from us – and certainly it has proven the case that we aren’t quite as wet behind the ears as we were last season.  Billy’s boys are capable of passing the ball around in pretty triangles with the best of them, but with a mean underpinning of malice that will punish sides in uglier fashion should the game require it.

Last season’s City Ground clash with the Robins was a humdinger of a tie, with Forest sealing what felt like a pivotal win thanks to a stoppage time Dexter Blackstock strike.  Dex was only on loan then, of course, but now as a permanent signing he won’t have much hope of reenacting his heroics of that afternoon as his knee injury is very unlikely to make him available for the game.  In better news Robbie Earnieshaw could well be fit to return.

Whilst we all feared the logistics of having six strikers to keep happy, it’s proven a godsend with Dex, Tyson and Earnie all unavailable, particularly with Billy’s preference for cameoing Garner in a midfield role of late.  However, if Earnie were to return it would be most welcome as he represents one of the better of our ‘end product’ attackers – something which was notably absent for much of last weekend’s clash against Cardiff, lots of good approach play – not many direct chances.

Our visitors are not without a few injury issues too, captain Louis Carey picked up an injury in their weekend draw with Sheffield Wednesday and is listed as a doubt.  Elsewhere in their defence Liam Fontaine is not expected to be fit.  That aside, there’s still plenty for the Reds to be thinking about, not least dangerous frontman Nicky Maynard.

Forest have a good recent record against City, even in times bleaker than these current almost-halcyon days.  That makes me nervous for a start.  1955 was the last time they won at the City Ground, indeed, they haven’t beaten us in the last sixteen attempts – we are somewhat of a bogey side for them.  Other causes of concern are the match officials for the game (thanks to the informative Vital preview).

Anthony Taylor has form at the City Ground, sending Kelvin Wilson off for no apparent reason in a 2-1 Reds victory over Huddersfield Town.  Although on the flipside he apparently awarded a nonsense penalty against City last season, too – so either he has a grudge against both teams or is an incompetent buffoon.  It looks like we’ll have two lady assistant referees for the afternoon too – I’ve noticed appallingly bad games from Amy Rayner in the past, but Sasa Ihringova is an official I’ve yet to see in action.

So what does all that mean?  Reds on a good run, high on confidence, possible return of Earnie, opponents who consider us their bogey side – oh I don’t know!  Certainly I’m greatly looking forward to returning to the City Ground after what feels like an awful long absence.  How good is it too look forward so much to games coming up rather than that grim forboding feeling that used to kick in around mid-afternoon on Thursdays?

I still think we’ll lose, though, probably due to a shockingly bad refereeing decision.  Or maybe that’s just what I want you think I think.  I think.  In all seriousness I think there will be a winner at the weekend, and only a single goal will seperate the sides.  I might even have a bet on it.

18 Responses

  1. I was optimistic about our chances and still am,despite reading your comments.
    We are now so well prepared for each match I have total faith in us getting another 3 points !!! Come on Billy !!!

  2. As usual, I have a tenner on Forest losing, Derby and Leicester winning. This is not because I want this to happen, but purely because it eases some of the pain of the ultimate worst circumstance. I got 20-1 this week. Worth a dabble if you’re so inclined.

  3. So what you seem to be saying nffc is that we could win and maybe even will, but your nervous about predicting a win in case we lose – well that all makes sense then!!??!!

    Actually, I understand completely. If we weren’t on such a good run we would all be confident of another three points. I agree with Alan and believe that we are now capable of treating “each game as it comes” and therefore I will be at the CG on saturday confident of 3 points – well, I think so!!

  4. Quality piece nffc, really raise a smile. Fabolous use of the word cameoing too! Excellent stuff.

    I really don’t know what to make of this game. Adebola caused us 101 problems last season and obviously won’t be doing so this weekend. Maynard though is strongly tipped for a January move to the Premiership with 3 or 4 low to mid table suitors lined up apparantly.

    I hope Earnie does return but who would he replace? He can’t play up front on his own. When he played with McGoldrick against Blackpool he was bloody awful. Swap McGoldrick for Dele and Garner for Earnie? Does Lewis deserve a start with a clearly not match fit Raddy on the bench?

    Lots of questions for this one.

    Either way, I think we’ll win 3-1.

  5. Glad to see someone else is feeling as grumpy as I am! 😀

    I am relatively confident, I hope that little Robbie Earnshaw can get some minutes, even if just as a sub, and agree that Dele seems to be the obvious partner, rather than Goldie (but the latter has been doing really well recently).

    • City have the 6’5″ Jamie McCombe at the back and so the static Adebola may not be as effective as against some other defenses. They also have good attacking fullbacks and the now-trademark King Billy 4-5-1 would make most sense in pinning them back, as pushing wingers on in a 4-4-2 is never secure unless your centre mids are quick (ours aren’t).

      Too much footy manager? Probably.

  6. Are we not one of the form teams at the moment lads,the run will end one day thats for sure ,but not many teams this season have played us off the park,stay positive ,i am old enough to remember Cloughies 42 game run ,i think this might not be as long,but you never no………………2-0 Satdy……

  7. According to Robin Chipperfield’s tweet, Earnie isnt fit but maybe its a red herring to catch Bristol on the hop?? Surely Dele up front against his old club would see him bursting his balls to do well??

    Looking at the stats, it seems we need to keep Maynard quiet. They havent lost when hes scored this season. Stats also reveal City have never won (and only drawn once) when going a goal behind so I guess that means we need the first goal (but when dont we?!).

    City seem to be the experts at 1-1 draws so Im going to opt for that.

  8. still remember lewis’s winner in injury time against hudds town and he only went and done it again sunday !!! – honestly think we’ll thump bristol city though, dont fear anyone in the championship this year after the start to the season compared to last year, 3-0 forest at least

  9. I’m hoping for goals, plenty of ’em…. for us!


  10. Sorry to hijack this thread but it seems vital are up to their tricks again, predicting a transfer bilge that will dwarf our summer spending.

    I love how they keep trotting out the same high expectation stuff and aren’t embarrassed about being so wide of the mark when they are all proved wrong.

    Still at least its funny and imaginative which is more than can be said for the NEP

    • I should perhaps refrain from speaking out of turn as I have upset people over at Vital Forest in the past, but it might be worth remembering that although they are independent, they are part of a commercial network.

      My recommendation is to do what most of us already do – namely, read a variety of sources, take them all with a pinch of salt and wait and see what actually happens…

      • Agreed, transfer speculation is a necessary evil. I try to steer clear of it but sometimes when you hear things the temptation gets the better of you!

        Although that particular source of rumours seem eminently easy to upset…

  11. more like plan to spend big, targets given to the onerous board, dilly dally, targets become fruitful acquisitions for other going concerns…


  12. At least when we are on a good run Pleat and arthur keep quiet,which is good for all of us !
    Keep it up Billy !!!!

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