MX23RW : Sunday, August 18 13:39:10| >> :600:120784921:120784921:
Oct 20, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at ​City Ground
Nott'm ForestNottingham Forest
Lichaj (73')
Lansbury (75')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Taylor (90')

Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Burnley

Sports Mole previews the Championship match between in-form Burnley and struggling Nottingham Forest.

Nottingham Forest will be looking to end a run of four matches without a win when they host Burnley in the Championship this week.

The visitors sit just outside the automatic promotion places on goal difference coming into this match, having won six of their last eight fixtures.

Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman during the Sky Bet Championship match against Brighton & Hove Albion on February 7, 2015© Getty Images

Nottingham Forest's hopes of pushing for promotion to the Premier League this season were dealt a further blow at the weekend when they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Bristol City, leaving the side 14th in the table.

The result leaves Dougie Freedman's side with just a point from their last four outings, and just three wins from their first 11 matches of the campaign, just one of which has come at the City Ground.

His side's home form will be a worry for the manager, as Forest have lost three of their five matches so far on home soil - only MK Dons have been beaten more often in their own stadium.

The dismissal of Uwe Rosler from Leeds United could have Freedman worried, with his side having secured just a point more than Leeds from their 11 fixtures so far this season. Another loss could result in questions over his future at the club.

A lack of goals is the main reason for Forest's struggles this season, with the team finding the back of the net just nine times so far - the second-lowest total in the second tier. The team have only scored more than one goal in two of their matches, and have been unable to get on the scoreboard in four of their games.

They have been relatively strong at the back though, conceding just 12 goals so far this campaign, which is just one more than Birmingham City and Burnley who sit in the playoff places, although they have kept just two clean sheets.

Recent form: WWLDLL


Andre Gray of Burnley during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Burnley at Ashton Gate on August 29, 2015 in Bristol, England.© Getty Images

After a wobble at the end of September, Burnley confirmed their return to form at the weekend, securing a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers to leave them fifth in the table.

Sean Dyche's men have only lost twice in the Championship this season, and have dropped just four points in their last eight matches, leaving them level on points with second-placed Middlesbrough ahead of this fixture.

However, their form away from home has not matched their performances at Turf Moor. The Clarets have won just two of their five away fixtures, compared with four of their six outings at home, while only five of their 16 goals have been scored in away outings.

Burnley have the best discipline record in the Championship so far this season. The side is one of eight in the second tier yet to have a player sent off, and has received just 11 bookings, five fewer than Derby, Fulham and Wolves.

Summer signing Andre Gray has fitted in well since joining the team from Brentford in the transfer window. The striker is the club's top scorer this season, with four goals in six appearances, including a brace against Bolton at the weekend.

Their manager was linked with a move away from the club over the international break, with Sunderland thought to be interested in Dyche after Dick Advocaat left the Stadium of Light. However, with the Black Cats appointing Sam Allardyce, Dyche looks set to stay at Turf Moor for the foreseeable future.

Recent form: WWDLWW

Team News

Michael Mancienne of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Blackpool at City Ground on August 9, 2014© Getty Images

Forest will continue to be without Matt Mills, who is serving a three-match suspension for picking up a red card earlier this month, but Eric Lichaj will be available again after missing out last time for accruing five yellow cards since the start of the season.

Freedman's list of injury absentees has grown though, with Michael Mancienne and Kyle Ebecilio both ruled out for six weeks with knee and hamstring injuries respectively, joining long-term injuries Britt Assombalonga, Andy Reid, Chris Cohen and Matty Fryatt in the treatment room.

Meanwhile, the visitors are sweating on George Boyd, who will undergo a last-minute fitness test after picking up an ankle injury at the weekend.

Fredrik Ulvestad is available again after recovering from an ankle injury, and could come in for Boyd if he is unable to feature, while Kevin Long and Dean Marney are nearing a return, although this fixture comes too soon for the duo.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
De Vries; Fox, Hobbs, Wilson, Pinillos; Burke, Lansbury, Vaughan, Williams, O'Grady; Ward

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Heaton; Darikwa, Duff, Keane, Mee; Ulvestad, Jones, Barton, Arfield; Vokes, Gray

Head To Head

When the two sides last met during the 2013-14 season, Burnley secured a 3-1 win, having shared a 1-1 draw during the reverse fixture.

Forest are without a win in their last four matches against Burnley, and have beaten this week's opponent just twice in 11 games.

In 55 previous meetings between the two sides, Burnley have secured 21 wins to Forest's 20, while 14 of the matches have finished level.

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We say: Nottingham Forest 0-2 Burnley

Although Burnley have not played their best football away from home so far this season, the Clarets come into this match in a much better run of form than their opponents, and have a better head to head record in recent years.

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Who will win the Championship clash between Nottingham Forest and Burnley?

Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest
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Michael Mancienne of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Blackpool at City Ground on August 9, 2014
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Mancienne, Ebecilio out for six weeks

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