Leicester City vs. Forest preview..

Well, today has been all talk of incoming signings (what?!) – a huge welcome to Marcus Tudgay and Aaron Ramsey who join us in loan deals from Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal respectively.  The former isn’t all that surprising (but still a decent addition, in my view), but the latter seems to have taken the football world rather by surprise – and certainly shocked me!

But we need to think about upcoming fixtures of course.  Thank to the machinations of Sky Sports we find ourselves up next on a Monday Evening down the M1 – against a side who’ve similarly added some reinforcements to their squad – Chris Kirkland joined the Foxes today on loan, to add to the addition of Roman Bednar earlier in the loan window – so they’ll be hoping to shore up at one end whilst netting more up front.

A fairly inauspicious start to the season saw the Foxes languishing in the lower reaches of the table and eventually part company with the much-trumpeted manager Paolo Sousa.  Even the arrival of Swedish playboy and no-stranger-to-the-Nottingham-public Sven-Goran Eriksson didn’t seem to arrest their ailing form initially..

Until recently, of course – they went on a mini unbeaten run of four games (three of which were wins – including one over Derby, greeting to cheers at the City Ground that afternoon just to underline where the rivalries lie in the East Midlands).  But a slip up away at Bristol City brought them back down to earth at the weekend.

Anyone who was unfortunate enough to go to this fixture last season will remember what this fixture means to the locals – with streets lined for literally miles from the ground to, well, mostly look at the departing Forest fans on coaches.  An odd experience.  For me it’s a good opportunity for three points – albeit against a decent opponent who certainly aren’t going to make it easy.

Forest are obviously now missing Dexter Blackstock, cruelly injured in our 2-0 win over Cardiff last weekend – he joins David McGoldrick on the treatment table.  It remains to be seen whether the likes of McKenna, Tyson and Wilson will have recovered from injuries that kept them from involvement at Cardiff.

I think – given their recent first-team match time – it’s likely we’ll see both Tudgay and Ramsey on the bench at the Walkers Stadium.  Billy is unpredictable though, I must admit I’d be tempted to predict an unchanged starting eleven to that which began the game last weekend – whenever I think such a thing though a dramatic change comes through!

Both teams are so bloody unpredictable it makes any trying to second-guess the result very difficult – if the Reds can put in a performance like against Cardiff then they could put the wind up any team in this league, but we’ve not seen that on the road much this season.  Throw in the uncertain-fitness-factor of the likes of Tudgay and Ramsey and, well, who knows?

On the other side of the coin, Leicester too have had a real mixed bag of performance levels… looking at all time stats though, they have one more win over us than we do over them – so it would be nice to bring a bit of balance to proceedings and get an unheard of second consecutive away win, wouldn’t it?  That’s not a prediction though, just what I’d quite like!

So, to recap – a big welcome to Marcus Tudgay who joins us with a likely permanent move following in January, and of course to Aaron Ramsey who comes for match fitness.  It’s good to have news like this to bring a few smiles and make the message boards more positive – even if they have limited involvement on Monday, their arrival and presence on the bench at least should give us a boost.

… and of course, we have a football match to play infront of Sky cameras – I imagine a few more neutrals might just be tempted to at least flick over to our game from some Spanish game of insignificance following the news of us landing Ramsey on loan.  Well done to Billy and the transfer acquisition panel, a real coup that’s got a lot of football fans talking!