Huddersfield Town travel to the City Ground to take on an in-form Nottingham Forest side.
With ten points between the two sides and seven places, it’ll be an intriguing battle as Forest attempt to make up the 8 point gap from the play-off places and Huddersfield try to bridge a ten point gap on the relegation places.
The last time the West Yorkshire side traveled to Nottingham, they managed to take all three points courtesy of a Sean Scannell goal but very few would expect the same today.
The last outing for Dougie Freedman’s side saw a 1-0 victory against a fellow West Yorkshire side, Leeds United at Elland Road. David Wagner’s side was also away from home but somehow lost to Preston despite dominating for the majority of the game.
Nottingham Forest will look to be securing back to back victories whereas Huddersfield will be looking to bounce back and get back to winning ways.
FootballLeagueWorld writer Elliott Wheat-Bowen identifies three things to look out for in this afternoon’s encounter…
1) A potential coupon buster
At this moment in time, Nottingham Forest has gone 13 games unbeaten in the Championship, winning six games and drawing seven, this is the current longest unbeaten run in the division and Dougie Freedman will be looking to build on it today, preferably with a victory.
Also, another statistic in favour of Nottingham Forest is that they have won five of their last six home league clashes against Huddersfield, however, this David Wagner side is a different prospect to the sides that they have faced in the past.
From the outset, with Huddersfield losing the last four games in all competitions, this should be a formality with Nottingham Forest winning comfortably. This however, would be a severe oversight, the performances of the West Yorkshire haven’t matched the results with Huddersfield being more than equal in the defeats and with tighter defending and some more clinical finishing, the defeats would’ve been handsome victories.
Dougie Freedman needs to be weary of the quality that Huddersfield do possess and complacency on the part of Nottingham Forest could be their downfall if they’re not careful. Despite the form reading differently, I expect a relatively tight equal contest which is common place in such a competitive league.
2) Expect Goals
While Nottingham Forest boast having the record of the longest unbeaten run in the league at the moment, Huddersfield can boast about having the record of the longest run of scoring in consecutive matches. The West Yorkshire side has scored in the past twelve games in all competitions.
Nottingham Forest has also showed an eye for goal and with two of the most in-form strikers in the division facing each other, it could be a goal-fest. Nelson Oliveira has six goals in his last ten matches and will be looking to add to it today.
On the other hand, Nahki Wells has seven goals in his last ten matches and with a goal today, he could be the fourth top goalscorer in the division behind only the pedigree of Andre Gray, Abel Hernandez and Ross McCormack.
With one of the tightest defences in the division, Huddersfield will not be able to waste the vast amount of chances that they did last Saturday, David Wagner’s side will need to show a clinical edge and composure in front of goal if they are to get anything out the game.
With Nottingham Forest’s attacking quality and Huddersfield’s attacking quality but inability to defend in recent matches, I’m expecting goals.
3) An end-to-end Encounter
Building on the expectation of goals, I also expect that it’ll be an end to end encounter with a lot of chances for both sides.
At the pre-match press conference, David Wagner was questioned about his footballing philosophy and opposition. Wagner stated that Huddersfield would continue to play the open and expansive football whether they’re home or away, no matter who their opposition is.
Huddersfield has been guilty of giving up possession in the own final third due to mistakes when playing out from the back but David Wagner won’t stop imposing his footballing ideology as part of a broader long-term plan that he has at the club.
This refreshing mentality provides an open end to end encounter and Nottingham Forest fans won’t see a tentative Huddersfield side sitting back in pursuit of a single point.
Nottingham Forest also likes to get the ball down and play open expansive football and I expect to watch an excellent open match with exciting moments and fast paced counter attacks with the likes of Jamie Ward and Ryan Mendes being a constant threat.
Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield fans… Are you going to the game today? Can Huddersfield break out of their winless streak? Will Nottingham Forest be closer to that playoff pack this weekend? Let know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!