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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship game between Nottingham Forest and Stoke City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Nottingham Forest take on Stoke City on Wednesday evening still requiring a point to guarantee their spot in the Championship playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Potters make the short trip to the City Ground having secured their place in the second tier for another 10 months with victory over promotion-chasing Brentford at the weekend.


Match preview

Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Although Forest are on the brink of sealing a spot in the playoffs, Sabri Lamouchi will be anything but satisfied with the recent performances of his team.

Just three points and four goals have been registered in their last five matches, with their last victory coming on the first day of the month.

While a share of the spoils will be enough on Wednesday night, Lamouchi may feel that his team need to record all three points in a bid to generate some much-needed momentum.

Without success later this week, the majority of their fanbase will be pessimistic regarding their chances against either West Bromwich Albion, Brentford or Fulham.

That said, there is an argument that avoiding defeat against Stoke should be regarded as an excellent result, who are now mathematically safe from the drop.

Having recorded 45 points from his 30 matches in charge, Michael O'Neill has arguably not received the credit that he deserves for masterminding the club's revival since his appointment in November.

Ten of those points have come from their last five outings, which includes a hugely-impressive 1-0 triumph over in-form Brentford on Saturday afternoon.

O'Neill may have feared the worst when witnessing his players succumb by a 5-0 scoreline at Leeds United earlier this month, but the performance and clean sheet against the Bees highlighted that Stoke can be a force in the second tier next season.

Despite their survival, however, O'Neill will be desperate not to end the season with a defeat, one which could see the club drop down to 19th place.

Nottingham Forest Championship form: WDLDDL

Stoke City Championship form: LWLWDW


Team News

Nottingham Forest's Sammy Ameobi celebrates scoring against Swansea City in the Championship on July 15, 2020© Reuters

After switching to a back three against Barnsley, Lamouchi must decide whether to stick with a formation which ultimately led to Forest drawing a blank at Oakwell.

Joe Lolley and Sammy Ameobi will each expect to start the game on Wednesday night, potentially as replacements for Tiago Silva and Nuno da Costa.

Although Matty Cash could be back in contention, Lamouchi may opt against taking any risks on one of his key men.

As for Stoke, O'Neill could hand a third Championship start of the season to youngster Lasse Sorensen.

Tyrese Campbell will also hope to feature having began a number of matches among the replacements.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Smith; Dawson, Figueiredo, Worrall; Jenkinson, Watson, Sow, Ribeiro; Lolley, Grabban, Ameobi

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Davies; Chester, Batth, Martins Indi; Smith, Cousins, Sorensen, McClean; Powell; Gregory, Campbell


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Stoke City

With survival having already been secured, Stoke may relish the chance to play with freedom on Wednesday night. However, Forest will be motivated to ensure that they do not waste a prolonged period in the top six, leading us to predict a competitive draw.



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3West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom7430136715
4Coventry CityCoventry750285315
5Stoke CityStoke7421108214
6Huddersfield TownHuddersfield7412139413
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8Blackburn RoversBlackburn7331118312
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10Birmingham CityBirmingham7322107311
11Bristol City72328809
12Middlesbrough72328809
13Luton TownLuton7232911-29
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15Millwall714279-27
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17Barnsley714269-37
18Reading72141317-47
19Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd7133911-26
20Swansea CitySwansea713348-46
21Hull City712449-55
22Blackpool7124511-65
23Peterborough UnitedPeterborough7115717-104
24Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest7016512-71

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