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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship fixture between Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City will be aiming to get off the mark with their first points of the Championship season when they meet at the City Ground on Saturday.

Both sides lost their opening league fixtures of the campaign and were eliminated from the EFL Cup at the first hurdle, placing added importance on this weekend's fixture.


Match preview

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

Arguably the last team Forest would want to play after making a disappointing start to the new season is Cardiff if their home record against the Bluebirds is anything to go by.

The Reds have lost their last five home league matches against City - their joint-worst home losing run against an opponent - most recently going down 1-0 last November.

Like Forest, though, Cardiff enter this contest in bad form after losing 3-0 at Northampton Town in the cup and 2-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday in their opening league game.

Neil Harris was quick to play down the heavy loss to third-tier Northampton given the lack of preparation, but the Wednesday defeat would have hurt the City boss.

Cardiff offered very little against the Owls before and after conceding two first-half goals and now have to quickly pick themselves up for this trip to the Midlands.

Cardiff manager Neil Harris pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Forest also exited the EFL Cup in round one - Cauley Woodrow scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 loss to Barnsley - before tasting a 2-0 reverse against Queen Park Rangers.

Head coach Sabri Lamouchi put the opening weekend defeat down to mistakes being made at both ends, which he has had a week to work on off the pitch.

Forest badly slipped away last season and have carried that negative form into 2020-21, their winless run now spanning eight matches in all competitions.

The good news for the Reds is that they have lost their first home league game of a season in just three of the last 34 years, albeit with one of those defeats coming last term.

We may still be in the opening month of the campaign, but defeat for Forest or Cardiff on Saturday and the pressure will already be on either Lamouchi or Harris.

Nottingham Forest Championship form: L
Nottingham Forest form (all competitions): LL

Cardiff City Championship form: L
Cardiff City form (all competitions): LL


Team News

Lee Tomlin celebrates scoring for Cardiff on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Lamouchi confirmed at his pre-match news conference that Portuguese midfielder Tiago Silva is out until September because of an injury issue.

Silva is Forest's only injury concern, however, with Joe Lolley available again after recently overcoming a shin problem.

Forest completed the signing of teenage centre-back Loic Mbe Soh from Paris Saint-Germain in the week, but he is not expected to play any part in this match.

As for Cardiff, star man Lee Tomlin is in contention to start after coming on as a second-half substitute in the defeat to Wednesday.

Joe Ralls, who was just as influential in the Bluebirds' run to the playoffs just a few months ago, is also available after overcoming an injury issue of his own.

Northern Ireland international Gavin Whyte is out with a hamstring injury, however, and Isaac Vassell is still not ready to make a return to competitive action.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Jenkinson, Worrall, Figueiredo, Blackett; Colback, Yates; Lolley, Freeman, Ameobi; Grabban

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Osei-Tutu, Morrison, Nelson, Bennett; Vaulks, Bacuna, Tomlin; Murphy, Moore, Hoilett


SM words green background

We say: Nottingham Forest 0-1 Cardiff City

Forest enter this match on a four game losing run - a rut that they quite simply have to bring an end to. Cardiff are also in need of a positive result and, on the basis of their recent visits to the City Ground, we are backing them to snatch three points here.


Top betting 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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Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City?

Nottingham Forest
Draw
Cardiff City
Nottingham Forest
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Cardiff City
0.0%
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Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall pictured in September 2020
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