For the second game in a row Forest face the leaders of the league, hoping they can – as they did last week – contribute to them falling from that lofty perch. After the well-publicised and not uncontroversial goings on at Cardiff this season it has become both a daunting fixture, and one that would be all the more sweet to pick up a victory at.
Anybody who saw their last home game to fierce rivals Swansea City will have seen they’re anything but unbeatable – although the Swans did play a positive game, which is something we seem to struggle to do on our travels. The travelling Reds fans should be able to give the boys solid backing in a ground that struggles to lnch for forgotten-man Paul Smith. Kelvin Wilson still remains a doubt with a back injury (and, of course, subject to endless transfer sive up to the atmosphere that Ninian Park could generate from the home fans.On the player front, Forest are without McGoldrick who is once again injured after a training incident. Reserve ‘keeper Karl Darlow is also struggling which may see a return to the bepeculation – I’m sure those things aren’t related!).
Our hosts have a slight doubt over Chris Burke who picked up a knock away at Scunthorpe last weekend and subsequently missed International duty this week. Of course, they do have newly capped England international (!!) Jay Bothroyd fighting fit, and a plethora of other dangerous attacking options – not least former Reds target Peter Whittingham, former Reds loanee Michael Chopra and of course Craig Bellamy.
The other big factor they seem to have is the diplomatic immunity from suitable discipline from referees, and of course the safety blanket of being able to appeal any serious decisions that go against them to the Welsh rather than the English FA. Not that I’m bitter. Actually, I am, I little bit.
Cardiff are on a decent run of form – as you’d expect, occupying the top spot – although a draw and a defeat have snuck into their last three games. The Reds are a little behind them in form, but not by too much – although of course, we should remember that our record away from the City Ground is absolute dog shit, to put it frankly.
The Bluebirds are a bit of a bogey team for us in fact, whilst both games last season were draws – Cardiff haven’t actually tasted defeat to Forest in the last nine games they’ve met. The last time we beat then was in 76-77 as we were promoted to the top flight under Clough and Taylor. So really we are rather overdue a win!
Plus we all saw what a team in Red and White can do if they go to a fortress of a team that plays in Blue and plays with positivity and belief, didn’t we? We did if we watched Match of the Day last week where Sunderland swept Chelsea aside with a magnificent performance at Stamford Bridge.
I digress, but for a reason – because the only way I can see us getting a positive result at the Cardiff City Stadium is by adopting a very positive attitude – something I’ve not seen us do since we beat West Bromwich Albion with a fantastic performance. Whilst Cardiff bristle with attacking options, I’m not that convinced by their defence…
The slight spanner in those particular works is that I struggle to envisage us having that kind of positive approach to the game, and of course we must remember that just as I question Cardiff’s defence, ours has proven severely vulnerable against less impressive frontlines than that which the Bluebirds will pit against us.
I’m reasonably confident we’ll be able to snag a goal or two, but considerably less confident that we will be able to prevent Cardiff from doing the same. If I were forced to predict I’d go for an optimistic 1-1, but reckon Cardiff are more likely to triumph than us… naturally I would love to be proven wrong and be celebrating come the full time whistle!
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