Nottingham Forest take on Bristol City on Wednesday evening at the City Ground in one of four matches from the English Championship to open July. The Tricky Trees take on the Robins from 18:00 GMT on what will be a fascinating night for armchair fans with plenty to keep them busy. Our team preview the match and offer our predictions.
This will be the second match of the season involving Nottingham Forest and Bristol City after the pair played out a tense goalless draw at Ashton Gate back in November. That game may have ended 0-0 but there was no lack of talking points with referee Craig Pawson sending off Forest’s Ryan Yates early in the second half. That decision seemed to kill off any chance of Nottm Forest claiming a vital away win.
The hosts enter this match occupying a promotion playoff place and have high hopes of securing an extended season. Fans dream of seeing their heroes rub shoulders with the cream of English football next season, but nothing has been achieved yet. Bristol City are stuck in midtable following a poor run of form but know victory here could breathe life into their campaign. Will the Robins upset the odds to claim all three points in West Bridgford?
Forest unbeaten in two
Nottingham Forest sit fourth in the Championship table after 39 games with their season stats reading 17 wins and 13 draws against 9 defeats. The Tricky Trees have scored 52 goals so far, which is the joint lowest of the top 10 teams in the division. They have conceded 40 goals which is just two more than West Brom who sit second and look likely to be playing Premier League football next term. The host’s recent form show they have won two, drawn two and lost one of their last five, taking four of the last six points available to them.
Sabri Lamouchi’s men returned from lockdown with a draw away to Sheffield Wednesday on 20 June. That was a match many supporters of the club would have expected them to take maximum points from but, under the circumstances, it seemed a decent point to pick up after weeks out of action. Forest looked to have done enough to secure the points when Lolley broke the deadlock on 69 minutes but there was to be one final twist in the tale, Wickham firing an equaliser deep into stoppage time to secure a share for his employers.
The home team got back to winning ways last time out when hammering Huddersfield Town at this venue on Sunday. An impressive performance, Grabban helped himself to a double that day before Yates hit a third late in the contest. Things then went from bad to worse for the Terriers as Bacuna was sent off near the end but there was still time for Grant to notch a consolation goal, scoring from the penalty spot on 97 minutes. A deserved three points for Nottm Forest and a timely confidence boost for the squad as they enter a crucial stage of the season.
Bristol City lost their last two
Bristol City start this match eight places lower in the Championship table, sitting 12th with 55 points on the board. Despite their midtable status, the Robins are just five points behind Cardiff City and a place in the promotion playoff slots. That will ensure the squad remain focused and keep pushing for points in the closing stages of the campaign. A win here could set them firmly back on track and if results elsewhere go their way it could catapult Bristol City back into contention. The outcome of this midweek match could make or break their year.
Lee Johnson’s men have won 15 games so far, drawing 10 and losing 14. They have scored 53 goals which is one more than their opponents but have already conceded 58 and that’s the same number as Stoke City who are down in 20th and involved in a battle to beat relegation. Bristol City may enter this match with a chance of getting back involved in the playoff race, but their recent form has been below par, taking just two of the last 15 points available to them. They have lost three of their last five and each of their last two Championship outings.
The Robins returned from lockdown with a 3-1 defeat at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers and that was quickly followed by a 2-1 home loss against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday. Goals from Wickham and Luongo gave the Owls a commanding lead before Wells hit a consolation goal on 68 minutes to keep things competitive. Speaking to the press following that latest defeat, manager Lee Johnson thought two of the three goals conceded were unforgivable. He’ll be desperate to see improvement here.
Nottingham Forest vs Bristol City prediction
Neither side enter this match with strong recent form, but Nottingham Forest have returned from lockdown the more impressive of the two and that would’ve added confidence to the ranks. They remain in a battle to secure a top-six finish but are looking worth their spot in the playoff places at present and will be confident in their ability to record a home win.
Bristol City seem to be struggling at the business end of the season and looked off the pace when losing to Sheff Weds at the weekend. They have conceded five goals in their last two games and that might encourage the home attackers to go on the front foot and place that nervy defence under pressure early in the match.
The betting market has priced Nottingham Forest up as favourites with even money available. The draw can be backed at 12/5 or there’s 14/5 trading if you prefer a play on Bristol City securing an overdue win.
Yes in the both teams to score market is 17/20 with no also available at 17/20.