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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship fixture between Nottingham Forest and Fulham, including team news and predicted lineups.

Nottingham Forest and Fulham square off at the City Ground on Tuesday evening with both clubs having strengthened their position in the Championship playoffs over the weekend.

While Forest maintained a seven-point gap over seventh-placed Derby County, the Cottagers moved nine points clear of the Rams courtesy of a last-gasp victory over Birmingham City.

Match preview

Fulham manager Scott Parker pictured on February 26, 2020© Reuters

After Fulham suffered back-to-back defeats to Brentford and Leeds United after the resumption, manager Scott Parker would have had concerns about keeping his side in the top six.

However, despite the suspension of top goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic also representing a significant blow, the Cottagers have managed to battle their way to important victories over Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham.

Although the West Londoners were less than convincing in the final third in both matches, it forced players to take on extra responsibility in the absence of their talisman, eventually resulting in Fulham being left to accumulate six points from their final five matches to earn a spot in the playoffs.

While Parker will still have ambitions to finish in the automatic promotion places, there will be a feeling that his team are back on track after disappointments which could have lingered further into the run-in.

Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi will also have to handle frustration ahead of this contest after witnessing his team concede a 96th-minute equaliser to fierce rivals Derby.

As well as leading since the early stages, Forest squandered numerous chances to put themselves out of sight before Chris Martin scrambled home a leveller which keeps Derby in the playoff hunt.

Although Lamouchi would have been furious with how a late free kick was defended at Pride Park, the result extended Forest's unbeaten run to four matches with two wins and two draws being recorded during that period.

Realistically, letting slip their slender advantage at the weekend has left automatic promotion out of the equation, but a maximum return on Tuesday would at least ensure that the teams above them remain conscious of their presence.

Perhaps more importantly at this stage of the season, a win would move Forest above Fulham in the standings, leaving them just five points away from guaranteeing a place in the top six.

Nottingham Forest Championship form: DLDWWD

Fulham Championship form: WDLLWW

Team News

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring for Fulham on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Fulham continue to do without Mitrovic, who serves the final game of his three-match suspension.

Having netted his team's winner at the weekend, Joshua Onomah could be provided with an opportunity to impress from the opening whistle.

While the former Tottenham Hotspur man may replace Harry Arter, Joe Bryan could be named at left-back ahead of Denis Odoi.

Despite the disappointment at Pride Park, Forest boss Lamouchi will likely keep changes down to a minimum.

However, Sammy Ameobi, Tiago Silva and Adama Diakhaby are all pushing for recalls after their appearances against the Rams off the substitutes' bench.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Cash, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro; Yates, Watson, Sow; Lolley, Grabban, Silva

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Rodak; Christie, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Onomah, Reed, Cairney; Knockaert, Decordova-Reid, Cavaleiro

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We say: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Fulham

While both teams head into this contest with the target of boosting their chances of automatic promotion, there will also be a feeling that avoiding defeat will edge them a step nearer to the playoffs. With that in mind, we expect a share of the spoils in the East Midlands.

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Fulham manager Scott Parker pictured on February 26, 2020
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