Saunders takes Wolves to the City Ground on Saturday looking to inch away from the relegation zone, but he has admitted that his side will be up against it to halt Forest's recent charge under boss Billy Davies.
The 48-year-old told the Nottingham Post: "They've got good players and I think the way Billy Davies imposes his personality on the team makes them workmanlike and makes them close teams down.
"They've also got class players, and that's the secret to football – getting good players to work hard. I think they'll get in the playoffs."
Wolves won their first match of 2013 when they recorded a 2-0 victory over Millwall on Tuesday night.