Nottingham Forest will be hoping to pull further clear of the Championship relegation zone on Boxing Day, as they host Birmingham City at The City Ground.
Chris Hughton’s side have won just one of their last nine games, coming against fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday just over a week ago.
But with Birmingham also enduring a poor run of form at the minute, Forest may see this as an opportunity to pick up an important three points to help start to lift them up the table.
Forest look set to be handed at least one welcome player boost for that game, with Scott McKenna in line for a possible return to action.
The centre back has missed Forest’s last four games, but has now returned to training after an ankle injury suffered at the start of the month.
Providing an update on the Scotland international’s fitness ahead of the game, Hughton was quoted by Nottinghamshire Live as saying: “We’re hoping McKenna will train this week. We’ve got three more days training this week so we’re hoping to have him back.”
Elsewhere, midfield Fouad Bachirou has now returned to training as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.
However, with the summer signing still yet get himself back to match fitness, having suffered a setback during his recovery, Bachirou is still thought to be some way from making his debut for the Midlands club.
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Forest will also be without two other midfielders when they face Aitor Karanka’s side, with Luke Freeman and Jack Colback still sidelined.
Freeman has been absent from Forest’s last eight after being forced to undergo surgery on a hernia, and is not expected to return until the new year.
Colback meanwhile, picked up an ankle injury in the 1-0 defeat to Swansea at the end of November and had not featured since, with Hughton explaining that while he does not expect either player to be absent long-term, although they are still said to be a few weeks away.
Due to the postponement of Rotherham’s game with Middlesbrough, victory over Birmingham would see Forest move themselves four points clear of the Championship relegation zone, ahead of their trip to the Bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City in their final game of the calendar year.