MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 09:37:43| >> :600:93968:93968:
Dec 5, 2015 at 3pm UK at City Ground
Nott'm ForestNottingham Forest
3-0
Fulham
Mills (45', 78'), O'Grady (52')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Fulham

Sports Mole takes a closer look at both teams ahead of Saturday's Championship clash between Nottingham Forest and Fulham.

Nottingham Forest will be looking to bounce back from a defeat when they host Fulham at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon.

Fulham have still not appointed a successor to Kit Symons, but the Cottagers could climb into the top half of the Championship if results go their way over the weekend.


Nottingham Forest

Dougie Freedman manager of Nottingham Forest looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Derby County at City Ground on November 6, 2015 in Nottingham, England. © Getty Images

Relief arrived for Forest last weekend as they picked up just their second win in 11 games by beating Reading 3-1 thanks to a brace from Nelson Oliveira.

It was proof of the quality within Dougie Freedman's squad as they bounced back from falling behind early on, but Forest fans will be forgiven for not getting too excited about the victory.

The real challenge for Forest is to find the consistency required to climb up the table over the winter, and confidence should have been restored by their impressive display against the Royals.

Freedman's biggest concern will have been seeing his side play well on so many occasions without securing wins, but the performance of Oliveira last weekend comes as a huge boost to a team that has struggled in front of goal.

Only Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, MK Dons and Charlton Athletic have scored less than Forest's tally of 16 goals from 18 league games, meaning that the emergence of Oliveira as a regular scoring threat could be key.

Many believe that a change of luck against Reading was the turning point, but failure to build on the win could see any momentum halted by Fulham.

Recent form: DLLWLW


Fulham

Ross McCormack (C) of Fulham celebrates with team mates after scoring during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Preston North End at Craven Cottage on November 28, 2015© Getty Images

Another week of rumours and speculation has passed, but Fulham appear to be no closer to finding a replacement for Symons, who was relieved of his duties on November 8.

It has been another frustrating couple of weeks for the team leading the search for a new manager after Steve Clarke and Gary Rowett both resisted the temptation to leave Reading and Birmingham City, respectively.

Mark Warburton emerged as the latest target for the Cottagers in recent days, but with the Rangers boss claiming that he is keen to stay in Scotland, Fulham are unlikely to have a new manager in place before they arrive at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon.

Peter Grant will be given the responsibility of leading the team once again and he will be hopeful of delivering a first win as caretaker boss after draws with MK Dons and Preston in the last two games.

He has made it clear in press conferences that the current situation is affecting the players, but Ross McCormack stepped up in typical fashion to secure a point with an equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Preston.

Seven points currently separate Fulham from the playoff spots and the relegation zone, and hopes of a possible promotion push will quickly fade unless consistency is discovered in the near future.

Heading into the weekend without a win in their last four games, the pressure is on Clark to produce a response from the squad as they aim to stay in touch with the top six before a new manager arrives.

Recent form: WWLLDD


Team News

Kelvin Wilson of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Millwall at City Ground on April 05, 2014© Getty Images

Forest boss Freedman will be forced into one change with Jack Hobbs absent after his red card against Reading, and Kelvin Wilson is likely to replace him in the centre of defence.

Changes are unlikely elsewhere, which means that Chris O'Grady should retain his place alongside Oliveira in attack.

Richard Stearman, Tom Cairney, Moussa Dembele and Sakari Matilla have all been battling injuries this week, but decisions are yet to be made about the quartet's availability.

Dembele has struggled with a muscle problem in training and he is likely to be replaced by Cauley Woodrow if he does not prove his fitness.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
De Vries; Lichaj, Hobbs, Mills, Pinillos; Mendes, Lansbury, Vaughan, Osborn; Oliveira, O'Grady

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Lewis; Fredericks, Stearman, Ream, Husband; Parker, O'Hara, Hutchinson, Cairney; McCormack, Dembele


Head To Head

Supporters were treated to thrillers between these two sides last season as Forest claimed a 5-3 victory at the City Ground, before Fulham hit back with a 3-2 win in the reverse fixture in January.

Forest head into this weekend's meeting having beaten Fulham in just one of their seven meetings since the 1999/2000 campaign.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Fulham

It is never easy to predict what Fulham will produce, but they should be tested by a Forest side full of confidence after their victory last weekend. Much will depend on how Forest handle the threat posed by McCormack, and whether Fulham can finally deliver a strong defensive display for 90 minutes. There is not much to separate these two sides and they could be forced to settle for a point each.



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Rangers manager Mark Warburton arrives at the ground during the Scottish Championships match between Greenock Morton FC and Rangers at Cappielow Park on September 27, 2015 in Greenock, Scotland.
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ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
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Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

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