Nottingham Forest look to boost their playoff credentials as they host QPR


Nottingham Forest are a completely different proposition under Steve Cooper from the one that the Welshman took over in September.

Ahead of their first FA Cup quarter-final in 26 years against Liverpool, the Reds host Queens Park Rangers, with a win potentially seeing the East Midlands outfit climb into the playoff positions.

Having picked up just one point from their first seven league matches, Forest are now in touching distance of securing a playoff position with 11 matches to go in the Championship.

Under Steve Cooper, the Nottinghamshire club has become one of the second-tiers most dangerous sides and are certainly in the mix of a top-six finish as we approach the latter stages of the campaign.

Next up for the 42-year-old’s side is a home clash against Queens Park Rangers who have playoff hopes of their own.

Mark Warburton’s side are sat in fifth going into Wednesday’s encounter but, despite an excellent season thus far, the Hoops come into the contest in mixed form, having won just two of their last eight Championship outings.

However, their last league match saw the West London outfit come from behind to claim a crucial 2-1 victory away at high-flying Luton Town who have also solidified themselves into the playoff mix. They will certainly see Wednesday as an opportunity to once again dent the playoff credentials of another promotion hopeful.

Although Forest won’t be able to sneak into the top six with a victory against QPR, they will put themselves in an excellent position with a win given their game in hand on the majority of sides in and around the top half of the table.

Moreover, recent form suggests that they will certainly be in the game, having lost just one of their last ten league games, with Cooper’s side in the middle of an eight-match unbeaten run in both the league and FA Cup.

It seems as though the Nottinghamshire club can’t stray away from positives at the moment, with another coming this week in the form of a contract extension for influential and home-grown midfielder Ryan Yates.

The 24-year-old signed a new contract that lasts until summer 2025 this week, with the Englishman chipping in with goals of late which, beforehand, had been a rare sight.

Yates has netted in each of his last three appearances for Forest, having scored four goals prior all season, and has appeared in 33 of his side’s 35 league outings so far this term, making him a crucial asset to Steve Cooper’s plans.

With both teams well in the hunt for a playoff place come the end of the season, Wednesday night’s meeting could certainly prove majorly influential as we approach the business end of the Championship season.

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