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

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

Watford will be targeting top spot in the Championship when they travel to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.

The Hornets are just two points behind league leaders Norwich City, while Forest are only two points clear of the bottom three.


Match preview

Joao Pedro celebrates after scoring for Watford against Preston North End in the Championship on November 28, 2020© Reuters

Watford beat Preston North End 4-1 on Saturday – their biggest victory of the season so far and first win by three goals since their 3-0 triumph over Liverpool nine months ago.

Domingos Quina, Troy Deeney, Nathaniel Chalobah and Joao Pedro were all on the scoresheet as the Hornets made it five games unbeaten and rose to third in the table.

After successive draws on the road at Queens Park Rangers and Bristol City, the result and performance at Vicarage Road served as a reminder of the supreme quality in Watford's side.

It is now their poor away record that they must improve upon if they are to be serious contenders for an automatic promotion spot.

Vladimir Ivic's team have won only one of their seven away league games this season, and that came at bottom-of-the-table Derby County.

Nottingham Forest's Lyle Taylor in action with Swansea City's Ryan Bennett in the Championship on November 29, 2020© Reuters

They will be hoping for more joy in the East Midlands on Wednesday against a Forest side who were beaten 1-0 at home by Swansea City on Sunday.

There were signs of promise against the Welsh outfit, but ultimately it was a third consecutive defeat with no goals scored for the Reds.

There has not quite been the turnaround in form at the City Ground that was expected when Chris Hughton was appointed manager at the start of October.

While the former Brighton and Hove Albion boss has lifted them out of the bottom three, he has won just three of his 10 games in charge and relegation remains a real danger.

Putting the ball in the back of the net seems to be a particular issue, with Lyle Taylor the only player at the club to have scored more than once this season.

Nottingham Forest Championship form: LWWLLL

Watford Championship form: LWWDDW


Team News

Watford manager Vladimir Ivic pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Jack Colback was forced off through injury in the first half against Swansea City, so is unlikely to be involved on Wednesday night.

Chris Hughton admitted that losing Colback was the "last thing we probably wanted", but said that Samba Sow could be fit again to slot into the holding midfield position after being absent for the last three games.

Andre Gray limped off with a hamstring problem against Preston and should be replaced in the starting lineup by Joao Pedro.

That may be the only change that Vladimir Ivic makes after such a convincing win at the weekend, meaning Troy Deeney is in line for his second consecutive start.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Christie, McKenna, Figueiredo, Ribeiro; Yates, Arter; Knockaert, Lolley, Ameobi; Taylor

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Ngakia, Kabasele, Cathcart, Femenia; Sarr, Garner, Chalobah, Quina; Deeney, Pedro


SM words green background

We say: Nottingham Forest 1-2 Watford

Given the two teams' respective league positions, Watford would ordinarily be heavy favourites for this one, but their patchy away record does raise questions over whether they can come away with victory. We think the Hornets will sneak a win, but do not be surprised if Forest manage to get something from the game.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:data


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Watford manager Vladimir Ivic pictured in November 2020
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

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