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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Nottingham Forest and Blackpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Nottingham Forest head into Saturday's encounter with Blackpool looking to extend their unbeaten Championship record to five matches.

Blackpool have also put together a four-match streak without defeat, and the fixture at the City Ground is a meeting between two of the form teams in the division.

Match preview

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper celebrates after the match on September 29, 2021© Reuters

How the mood at a football club can change. Nottingham Forest looked destined for an extended spell in the relegation zone when going down 2-0 at home to Middlesbrough on September 15.

Four matches later, three of them under new head coach Steve Cooper, and the East Midlands outfit now sit in 17th position, a result of three wins and a draw.

Cooper and his squad will certainly not be getting ahead of themselves at this stage, but their 3-0 demolition of Birmingham City before the international break bodes well for the future.

Despite his short period at the City Ground, Cooper has found a resolution to their lack of goals, and it has made all the difference with Forest still not conceding more than twice in a league game this season.

Lewis Grabban has netted three times in four outings, re-establishing himself as the first-choice forward ahead of Lyle Taylor.

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley before the match on September 28, 2021© Reuters

Ahead of many other fixtures right now, Forest would be regarded as the clear favourites, but it would be disrespectful towards Blackpool to consider this fixture anything other than a 50-50.

Thirteen points were collected from six matches before the international break, strengthening the feeling that Neil Critchley is doing one of the best jobs in English football.

Critchley and his squad will still consider themselves to be in a relegation scrap this season, but they currently sit just three points adrift of the playoffs.

However, the Seasiders suffered a couple of key injuries before the international break, heaping the pressure on their deputies to impress in their absence.

Nottingham Forest Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Blackpool Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Jerry Yates celebrates earning promotion with Blackpool on May 21, 2021© Reuters

Barring any injury issues, Cooper is expected to stick with the Forest XI which breezed past Birmingham before the international break.

Midfielder James Garner has spent time away with England Under-21s, reducing his chances of earning an immediate recall to the team.

Blackpool will be forced into at least two changes with Chris Maxwell and Shayne Lavery both sidelined through injury.

Stuart Moore is in line to feature between the sticks, while Jerry Yates will expect to play in attack after netting off the substitutes' bench versus Blackburn Rovers.

James Husband is on standby to deputise for Richard Keogh if the veteran cannot shake off the groin injury that he sustained in the same game.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Worrall, Figueiredo, McKenna; Spence, Yates, Colback, Lowe; Johnson, Zinckernagel; Grabban

Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Moore; Sterling, Ekpiteta, Husband, Garbutt; Bowler, Dougall, Wintle, Anderson; Yates, Madine

SM words green background

We say: Nottingham Forest 2-1 Blackpool

With a stadium of supporters now fully behind the team and head coach, Forest are a different animal in the Championship. With that in mind, we are backing a hard-fought win for the home side, providing that they can maintain their improvements in the final third.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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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Blackpool's manager Neil Critchley celebrates after the match against Oxford on May 21, 2021
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Neil Critchley impressed by Blackpool's response to take a point at Bournemouth
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