Boxing Day joy for Peterborough United at the City Ground, the ex-Forest star hoping for a Posh recall, the third worst home record in the Championship v the worst away record, bumper crowd expected, latest odds, big matches
Nottingham Forest expect their biggest crowd of the Championship season when Peterborough United visit the City Ground tomorrow (December 4, 3pm)
The 27,946 that saw Forest beat Blackpool 2-1 on October 16 is the biggest City Ground attendance of the season.
Forest manager Steve Cooper said: “We look forward to being back at home. There’ll be 28,000 people coming here and that’s amazing, so we need to be at our very best and make sure that when people leave, they are proud of their team.”
EX-FOREST AT POSH
Posh midfielder Jorge Grant will be hoping for a recall to the starting line for the game at the club where he started his professional career. Grant, who came through the City Ground Academy, hasn’t played against Forest since leaving the club in 2019.
Last season Grant was a teammate of current Forest star Brennan Johnson at Lincoln City. The pair helped the Imps reach the League One play-off final, with Grant the club captain.
Posh activated his release clause during the summer, but the 26 year-old has yet to impress at London Road. He’s started 13 Championship matches and scored one goal, in the 3-0 win over Birmingham City. Grant has been an unused substitute in the last two Posh matches.
PAST POSH AT FOREST
Posh won a Championship fixture at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day, 2011 when a 20th minute George Boyd goal secured a 1-0 success at the City Ground.
Posh: Lewis, Alcock, Kennedy, Bennett, Zakuani, Wootton, Rowe, Kearns, Boyd, Sinclair, Taylor. Subs used: Newell, Tomlin.
That’s the only win in four Football League meetings for Posh at Forest, all of them at Championship level.
The first meeting between the clubs took place in March, 1994 when two Scott Gemmill goals delivered a 2-0 win for Forest against a Posh side well on the way to relegation
Posh: Barber, Bradshaw, Spearing, Greenman, Howarth, Welsh, Williams, McGorry, Charlery, Adcock., Hackett, Subs used: Iorfa, Macdonald.
A first-half goal for Welsh international Robert Earnshaw was enough to seal a 1-0 win for Forest in March, 2010.
And it was 2-1 to Forest in the last meeting in January, 2013. Elliott Ward grabbed an 83rd minute winner for the home side after Posh defender Scott Wootton had equalised a first-half Greg Halford goal on the hour mark.
Forest were in the Championship relegation zone when manager Chris Hughton was sacked and replaced by former Swansea boss Steve Cooper in September
Forest won five and drew the other in Cooper’s first six matches in charge, but they have slowed down in recent weeks having found goals hard to come by.
Their last seven matches have yielded one win, one defeat and five draws. They beat Preston 3-0 at the City Ground, but that was the only time they’ve scored more than one goal in a game during the recent run.
Forest have drawn their last two Championship matches at home to Luton and away at West Brom 0-0.
Forest have the third worst home record in the Championship with just two wins and five defeats in 10 outings. Their only other home win was that 2-1 success over Blackpool.
Experienced striker Lewis Grabben is Forest’s top scorer with eight goals. Fellow forwards Lyle Taylor and Brennan Johnson have three goals apiece.
Johnson enjoyed a successful spell on loan at Lincoln City last season.
Sky Bet bookmakers believe the teams to be relegated from the Championship this season are already nailed on. They have bottom club Derby at 1/10 for the drop, Barnsley at 4/11 and Posh at 8/13.
Reading (3/1), Bristol City (7/2) and Hull City (5/1) are the next three in the betting.
Posh are 17/4 with the same firm to win at Forest on Saturday with the home side priced at 7/10 and the draw at 13/5.
Grant McCann’s Hull City chase a fifth Championship win in a row in a big game towards the bottom of the table at Reading on Saturday.
Fixtures: Barnsley v Huddersfield, Blackburn v Preston, Blackpool v Luton, Bristol C v Derby, Cardiff v Sheff Utd, Middlesborough v Swansea, Millwall v Birmingham, Reading v Hull.