I was looking at my schedule over the coming days and with Christmas threatening to break into full swing I probably don’t have time for my customary Thursday preview, or the increasingly customary last-minute Friday preview… so I’d better go for the ludicrously early Wednesday evening preview I’m thinking!
What could be excellent news is that Simon Cox is champing at the bit to return from injury well ahead of schedule. Given the struggle we’ve had in creating lots of chances, his industrious work-rate would be much welcomed assuming it isn’t a step too far in his recovery curve.
Just having him as an option from the bench would be a huge bonus that I for one wasn’t expecting! Having been granted a week off in the sun to recuperate he’s returned to the club in much better shape than expected. A huge boost.
Brighton defy any kind of pattern – they started the season with a defeat to Swindon in the Cup, then followed it up losing to Hull, drew with Cardiff anf then won five on the bounce. Then failed to win in six, leading into an unbeaten November – with Peterborough, Huddersfield and Bristol City defeated, Leeds, Wolves and Bolton drawn with.
Right, things are picking up then yes? Well no, they lost 3-0 to fierce rivals Palace at the start of December, and then another trip to London saw them only muster a draw with Charlton. Earlier in the season they’ve clumped wins or lack-of-wins together so maybe that bodes well for us – or then again, maybe it doesn’t!
With the likes of Majewski and potentially Cox on the mend from their injuries we could see some pack reshuffling from O’Driscoll. From a Brighton perspective Adam El-Abd – who is apparently a Forest fan – came through a comeback from injury against Charlton and should be fit enough to line up against us.
I’d like to feel optimistic about this one but have a nagging doubt – although we saw a much improved level of performance against Burnley in the second half, we still look susceptible to being nullified but a hard-working and industrious side which is what we’ve seen from the Seagulls in the past – it makes me sense an afternoon of frustration from a Forest perspective.
Hopefully we will find a way to impose ourselves and forge opportunities to net some goals whilst keeping it tight at the back, but – as ever – it ain’t going to be easy!