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Preview: Bristol City vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Bristol City and Nottingham Forest, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bristol City will be desperate to end their seven-game winless run at home when they welcome Nottingham Forest to Ashton Gate in the Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Nigel Pearson's side were put to the sword by Coventry City last time out, while Forest secured back-to-back wins by beating Queens Park Rangers.


Match preview

Nigel Pearson in charge of Bristol City in March 2021© Reuters

As one of only two teams in the division to have lost their last three league fixtures - the other being Swansea City - Bristol City's fleeting hopes of a top-half finish keep on taking blow after blow since their resounding win over Birmingham City last month.

Despite managing to end their three-game goal drought at the Ricoh Arena through Nahki Wells's 79th-minute effort, Coventry struck through Leo Ostigard, Matty Godden and Viktor Gyokeres to secure a crucial win in their battle against the drop, but Pearson was left infuriated with his side's performance in that 3-1 loss.

The Robins should not be in any danger of being dragged into a relegation dogfight, as they sit 14th in the table and 14 points clear of the drop with six games left to play, but Pearson believes that his side's Championship status is far from guaranteed and a stint in League One could be a possibility if results do not improve.

In order to appease their frustrated manager, Bristol City simply must end their miserable home run which has seen them lose their last seven Championship matches at Ashton Gate, and they have only scored one goal on home soil during that run - as well as conceding 13 - and their current losing streak at home is their worst ever in EFL history.

Pearson's side could only rise one place higher with a win this weekend - that is if Wycombe Wanderers can somehow spring a surprise against Luton Town - but coming up against a Forest side starting to rediscover their goalscoring touch is not what the doctor ordered for the wounded Robins.

Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton pictured on January 23, 2021© Reuters

James Garner's free kick was the icing on the cake for Nottingham Forest against QPR, as Chris Hughton's side stormed to a 3-1 success over the capital side on Easter Monday - three days after taking the spoils at Cardiff City.

Manchester United loanee Garner notched up his side's third goal of the day after 18-year-old Alex Mighten and Lewis Grabban had made the net ripple earlier on at the City Ground, and Hughton's side are only looking upwards as the regular season prepares to draw to a close.

Forest are not mathematically safe from relegation, and 22nd-placed Rotherham boast as many as four games in hand over most of the teams above them, but Hughton's men are currently 13 points clear of danger and should have no trouble preserving their Championship status if their current form continues.

This week's visitors to Ashton Gate have lost just two of their last 11 away matches in the second tier, and another triumph this weekend would see Forest string together a three-game winning run for the first time since January 2020, but recent history does not favour Hughton's men.

Indeed, Bristol City have not lost a home fixture against Forest in the league since the 2010-11 season - winning four and drawing three at Ashton Gate since then - and the Robins prevailed 2-1 at the City Ground earlier in the campaign.

Bristol City Championship form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Nottingham Forest Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W


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Team News

Bristol City's Kasey Palmer celebrates with team mates after scoring their second goal on February 27, 2021© Reuters

An out-of-sorts Bristol City have not been helped by a spate of injuries, as young striker Sam Bell has joined the likes of Alfie Mawson, Liam Walsh, Chris Martin and Callum O'Dowda on the sidelines.

However, there is more optimism over the fitness of Jay Dasilva, who has not played since December due to a tibia problem, but the 22-year-old would surely be named among the substitutes if he is cleared to play this weekend.

Former Leicester City man Danny Simpson made his first start for the Robins at the Ricoh Arena and will hope to continue over Jack Hunt this week, and Henri Lansbury is pushing for a recall to the midfield after being introduced at half time against Coventry.

As for Forest, Hughton has confirmed that there are no fresh injury concerns in his squad for the trip to Ashton Gate, but Tobias Figueiredo is yet to return to training and will miss out once more.

Harry Arter, Gaetan Bong and long-term absentee Joe Lolley are keeping Figueiredo company in the treatment room, but Hughton is unlikely to shuffle the pack too much given their recent impressive form.

However, should the visiting manager decide to freshen things up, Yuri Ribeiro and Anthony Knockaert are the most likely to earn recalls to the first XI.

Bristol City possible starting lineup:
Bentley; Simpson, Mariappa, Kalas, Sessegnon; Nagy, Massengo, Vyner; Semenyo, Diedhiou, Wells

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Christie, Worrall, McKenna, Ribeiro; Yates, Garner; Ameobi, Krovinovic, Mighten; Grabban


SM words green background

We say: Bristol City 1-2 Nottingham Forest

Bristol City's abysmal home record has to end at some point, but an in-form Forest will leapfrog their opponents in the table with a win and will not want to pass that opportunity up. While we think Pearson's side will do enough to find the back of the net, the visitors' Easter results cannot be overlooked, so we expect Forest to prolong the Robins' misery at Ashton Gate.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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How you voted: Bristol City vs Nott'm Forest

Bristol City
30.8%
Draw
17.9%
Nottingham Forest
51.3%
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Coventry City manager Mark Robins pictured in November 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
2Watford432510860283285
3Bournemouth4322111073423177
4Swansea CitySwansea4322101152341876
5Brentford422015772413175
6Barnsley43228135546974
7Reading4319111357461168
8Queens Park RangersQPR431711155151062
9Cardiff CityCardiff4316131459471261
10Middlesbrough43179175148360
11Millwall431417124244-259
12Luton TownLuton42169173646-1057
13Stoke CityStoke431414154749-256
14Preston North EndPreston43157214455-1152
15Bristol City43156224258-1651
16Coventry CityCoventry431312184258-1651
17Blackburn RoversBlackburn431311195449550
18Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest431214173542-750
19Birmingham CityBirmingham431213183351-1849
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield431211204563-1847
21Derby CountyDerby431110223151-2043
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham41116244256-1439
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds43129223655-1939
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe43910243467-3337

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