Forest vs. Leicester preview..

What looks to be a sell-out crowd will be at the City Ground to see a 3rd vs 4th battle, with the winner taking 3rd!  Who would’ve thought we would be saying that at the start of the season about this fixture?  Certainly it’s added a bit of spice to a game where often the sense of occasion can feel a little one-sided.

And that’s understandable, whilst the Foxes were able to beat Forest at the second attempt in the cup at the City Ground recently (despite gifting us a goal – literally!) they haven’t triumphed here in the league for more than forty years.  They’ll certainly feel that this season represents a good opportunity given their flying start to the season – of course, tempered by our own good form.

The Reds are on the longest unbeaten league out there in the top four divisions.  Billy has shown he is prepared to adapt both tactics and personnel to exploit our opponents.  He’ll be heartened to be able to call upon Nathan Tyson and Chris Cohen again after their respective injury and suspension – meaning we only have Bennett on the injured list now.

With Dexter surely approaching full-fitness and Earnie looking to keep up his run of goalscoring (and thus his place in the team), all eyes might be on the frontmen, the midfield battle should be interesting – I haven’t seen much of Leicester beyond the Football League Show highlights, and from those the midfield might be an irrelevance as the ball is launched over them.

Leicester are hoping to welcome back captain Matt Oakley who had to content himself with a substitute place in their last game away at Scunthorpe, aside from that there aren’t any injury concerns.  The one to watch is clearly 9 goal man Matt Fryatt, a former Forest transfer target.  However, despite his early-season goal glut, he hasn’t scored in nine of the last ten games.  Gulp.

I expect this to be a cagey game, Billy Davies and Nigel Pearson are both likely to have their teams set out to nullify the opponent, so perhaps a repeat of the oft-seen cagey first half followed by a more open second as legs tire and perhaps one side might have made a breakthrough leaving the other needing to attack.

Certainly I’m looking forward to the encounter – a good challenge against a side who’ve registered an excellent league placing at this stage of the season.  I have a nagging feeling this will end up a draw, which – to be honest – wouldn’t be too bad given the bigger picture.  Would be lovely to start December’s fixtures by elevating ourselves to third though, wouldn’t it?!