In-form Nottingham Forest face woeful Stoke


Nottingham Forest take on 18th placed Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium knowing that a win for them would put them closer to the play-off zone.

The Reds could draw level with Bristol City, who occupy the final play-off spot, but Lee Johnson’s have a game in hand over Forest.

Martin O’Neill’s side are currently unbeaten in their last four matches, beating their East Midlands rivals Derby 1-0 in a tightly contested game at the City Ground in their last League outing.

Stoke, who currently sit in 18th place, eleven points ahead of the relegation zone, are on a three match unbeaten streak with all three matches ending in draws.

Team News

Forward Lewis Grabban, who missed the Derby match at the City Ground with an Achilles problem, is unlikely to be fit, while midfielder Matty Cash is close to returning to the side also following an Achilles problem. Defenders Michael Dawson (hamstring) and Tobias Figueiredo (leg) are still unavailable for selection.

Stoke hope to have striker Sam Vokes available for the match following a groin injury. Saido Berahino is also unlikely to feature in the game against Forest having been charged with drink-driving.

From the dug-outs

Nottingham Forest manager, Martin O’Neill, believes Joe Lolley will play an instrumental role in the fixture.

“I think Joe is a player who teams are taking note of now.

“Teams are starting to double-up on him. Preston showed that during that game. As soon as he got the ball, Preston immediately got a second man out to him.

“He is having to cope with that. One aspect of that is a compliment to him. Now he has to deal with it.

“Now he has to deal with that and he will get help from others, as he looks to cope with it – and I think he will deal with it.”

Newly appointed Stoke manager, Nathan Jones, assessed his first few weeks in charge  and believes the team is making progress in the right direction. Jones quoted:

“I think we’re looking a real solid team, we’re hard working. Apart from Brentford and the second half of last week we’ve controlled possession and we’ve been getting close to getting wins. We should have won more games than we have.

“We’ve not had the sudden spurt of progress I would have liked but we are making progress. We need to get results for lots of reasons and mostly because they put a stamp of approval on the work you’re doing.”


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