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Nottingham Forest - Reading (Championship) - Match Preview

A lovely trip to Nottingham on Friday night is what awaits those hardy Royals fans who have seen just two away wins all season for Nigel Adkins' team. One win in seven for Reading too, and now every point is key if the dim light of promotion is to become brighter.

Tony Marshall

Big Match Stats

Thanks to Skybet Football for putting the following together for us - we'll analyse the key information below...

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Graphic: Skybet

After all we've spoken of Reading's poor form in recent matches, it's somewhat surprising to see that Forest have actually taken less points during the last five games. A home draw with Burnley last time out is by no means the worst result, whilst their 2-0 victory over Leicester certainly beats the collateral form line we recorded last time out, with our 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium. Before that victory for Forest, they recorded back-to-back defeats against Blackpool and Yeovil. And they haven't recorded a home victory since the end of September, beating Derby County.

The other interesting one is obviously the shot count. The old adage that if you don't shoot, you don't score seems to reflect itself pretty well in this stat, with Forest having about 50% more shots than the Royals and, sure enough, scoring about 50% more goals.

Head To Head

The City Ground hasn't been the happiest hunting ground for Reading in the last few years, although we do have a couple of good results to show for the miles clocked up. Last time up in Nottingham, we lost 1-0 thanks to a Marcus Tudgay effort - but the return leg in April saw Mikele Leigertwood secure promotion to the Premier League for the Royals. Our previous visit to the City Ground was another thriller, as we ran out 4-3 winners. Overall, Forest have won 8 of the 15 matches played on their patch, with the Royals taking 4.

Team News

As seems to have been the case all year, Reading have a massive injury list to deal with. Both Sean Morrison and Wayne Bridge are out for the next few weeks, so the back five should be the same which just about kept a clean sheet up at Leicester last weekend.

Seemingly no new injury news for the Royals, which is good news in the context of this season so far. Mikele Leigertwood and Royston Drenthe are both closer to full fitness, whilst Danny Williams played 45 at the King Power last week - he might start this time round. Hal Robson-Kanu should also return after late illness ruled him out last Saturday.

For Forest, Chris Cohen suffered cruciate knee ligament damage during the 1-1 home draw with Sky Bet Championship leaders Burnley last weekend and will miss the remainder of the season. Greg Halford, Andy Reid and David Vaughan will need to pass late fitness tests after all three players missed out against Burnley.

Likely Lineups

Reading: McCarthy; Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Kelly; McCleary, Williams, Guthrie, Baird, Obita; Pogrebnyak, Robson-Kanu

Forest: Darlow; Jara, Hobbs, Halford, Harding; Lansbury, Vaughan, Majewski, Reid; Cox, Paterson

Best Odds

Forest evs

Draw 11/4

Reading 10/3

The Tilehurst End Prediction

In this week's podcast I went for a 3-1 Forest win, and if I'm honest it's quite hard to look past a victory for the home side in this one. Reading are cut up by injuries and haven't been solid away from home - last week's draw with Leicester saw us record just one shot on target. Hal returning to the side should give us more presence up top, but I can't see that back four recording another clean sheet in a tough away game. I'll stick with 3-1.