Nottingham Forest will take on Preston North End under the City Ground lights this evening looking to arrest a dismal run of four consecutive defeats.
The losses to Huddersfield Town, Burnley, Bristol City and Ipswich Town have seen the Reds slip down to 15th in the Sky Bet Championship, and a return to winning ways is high on the agenda for boss Dougie Freedman.
Preston will arrive in Nottingham full of confidence having catapulted themselves to within touching distance of the play-off places of late, with the Lilywhites currently six points off the top six.
Forest will want a few more wins to ensure that they do not become embroiled in a relegation dogfight and with Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City and Derby County all to come following Tuesday night’s game, this looks like a must win game for the Reds.
Football League World writer Lee Clarke takes a look at THREE things we can expect from tonight’s Championship encounter……
1) An edgy crowd
The Forest faithful who are still entertaining the thought of going to games are a fairly vocal bunch, regardless of whether their team are winning or losing.
In recent defeats to Huddersfield and Bristol City they have been quick to voice their displeasure over the lacklustre football on offer and an early goal for the visitors on Tuesday night, will crank up the pressure on the Forest players.
Preston fans are expected to travel in their numbers given their good form of late and the team will know that putting Forest on the back foot, could be the best way forward in this game.
2) A lack of goals
You need to go all the way back to January to find a game featuring Preston North End and over three goals, add to that the fact that Forest have scored just twice in their last seven outings and you have all the ingredients for a low-scoring affair this evening.
Forest simply do not possess the resources within their squad to go and kill off teams by scoring two or three goals at the moment, and a game against a confident, hard working Preston side is probably the last thing they want at present.
Preston on the other hand know that they can come to the City Ground and wait for their opportunities. They do not need to panic and boss Simon Grayson is likely to set his side up to defend and then hit Forest on the counter.
3) A winning goal for Garner?
Preston North End will certainly have one player keen to impress this evening in the form of striker Joe Garner.
The ex-Blackburn Rovers trainee scored 10 goals in a four-year spell with the Reds, but was largely used as a substitute and saw his career stall somewhat at the City Ground.
Rather bizarrely Forest have had a lack of regular goalscorers since Garner’s departure back in 2012, yet the striker has set about showing the Reds what they are missing and last season his 27 goal haul aided Preston towards promotion from League One.
The 27-year-old should get a fairly good reception from the Reds’ faithful and he will be looking to give his season a boost with a goal tonight.
Forest and Preston fans… What do you think the score will be? Do you agree that we can expect these three things to happen? what do you think will happen in the game? Let us know below!