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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Stoke City and Nottingham Forest, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Stoke City welcome Nottingham Forest to the bet365 Stadium on Tuesday evening sitting two points adrift of the Championship playoff places.

Meanwhile, Forest make the short trip to the Potteries having put together a three-match unbeaten streak, a run which has kept the club outside of the relegation zone.


Match preview

Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill pictured in October 2020© Reuters

With Tyrese Campbell sidelined for the rest of the season, it appears inevitable that Stoke boss Michael O'Neill will look to bring in another striker during the January transfer window.

However, until they are able to find an option which fits in with their plans to cope with FFP, O'Neill needs more from his current forward line with the team having now scored just three times in half a dozen league fixtures.

Recording four clean sheets in succession means that the Potters have been able to remain in contention for the top six, but such form in that part of the pitch is unlikely to last in the long term.

The return of Joe Allen is a huge plus for the squad with the Wales international having missed nine months of action with an Achilles injury.

For now, though, O'Neill must rely on other members of the group, putting the pressure on Steven Fletcher to quickly end a run of five league appearances without a goal.

Like their hosts, Forest enter this fixture with very little form in the final third of the pitch, their latest blank coming at home to Birmingham City on Boxing Day.

While five goals were scored in their previous four fixtures, only the three teams in the relegation zone have a worse attacking record than Chris Hughton's outfit.

Registering five points from their last three fixtures is a significant step in the right direction for a club which have not recovered from blowing a playoff spot last season.

Nevertheless, Forest will not move out of trouble until Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor are able to add to their combined five goals for the campaign on a regular basis.

Stoke City Championship form: WLDDWD

Nottingham Forest Championship form: LLLWDD


Team News

Chris Hughton pictured in charge of Nottingham Forest on October 17, 2020© Reuters

Joe Lolley and Anthony Knockaert are both pushing for recalls to the Forest XI, potentially in place of Sammy Ameobi and Alex Mighten.

Taylor may come in for Grabban down the middle of the attack, but the team could remain the same in defensive and central areas.

Stoke manager O'Neill may potentially name the same side which started the goalless draw at Coventry.

However, while Allen will not be considered for a first start of the season, Josh Tymon, Thomas Ince and Sam Vokes are all options should O'Neill wish to introduce some fresh legs.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bursik; Collins, Souttar, Chester; Smith, Powell, Cousins, Thompson, McClean; Fletcher, Brown

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Christie, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro; Yates, Sow; Lolley, Cafu, Knockaert; Taylor


SM words green background

We say: Stoke City 1-0 Nottingham Forest

While one of these teams is making a habit of keeping clean sheets, the other is trying to end one when it comes to misfiring in the final third. There should not be many goals in this fixture, and we expect the home side to battle their way to a narrow success.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:curl


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Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton pictured on October 20, 2020
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Tuesday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

TAEKWONDO
· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
· Mahama Cho is another medal contender for Team GB in the men's +80kg class (2am-2.30pm)

SWIMMING
· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

DIVING
· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin is part of a Team GB team going for gold in the dressage team Grand Prix final (9.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Superstar Simone Biles leads the United States side in the women's team final (11.45am-2.10pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women's team play their final group game, taking on Canada with qualification for the knockout rounds already secured (12pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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