Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between West Bromwich Albion and Nottingham Forest, including team news and predicted lineups.
Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups
Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups
  • 2020-02-14 04:05:08 3 months ago
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Arguably the pick of this weekend's Championship fixtures will take place at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon as West Bromwich Albion prepare to welcome Nottingham Forest.

West Brom extended their lead at the top of the table to six points on Wednesday night, while Forest currently sit fifth, just two points off second-placed Leeds United.


Match preview

West Brom boss Slaven Bilic on February 1, 2020© Reuters

A record of 17 wins, 11 draws and four defeats from 32 fixtures has left West Brom top of the pile in England's second tier, now six points clear of a faltering Leeds side.

The Baggies still have a lot of work to do if they are to secure a return to the Premier League for the 2020-21 campaign, but it is difficult to argue that they have not been the best side in the Championship this term.

No team has scored more times in the Championship this season (57), while they have won their last three in the league after a difficult period between December 11 and January 28.

A 2-0 win over Luton Town on February 1 has been followed by back-to-back successes over Millwall and Reading, and they are entering a vital run of matches when considering that their next three are against Forest, Bristol City and Preston North End.

West Brom were victorious when they travelled to Forest earlier this season, while they have only lost one of their last five Championship encounters with the Reds.

Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Not since the 1998-99 season have Forest been present in the Premier League, and they actually played in League One between 2005 and 2008 before securing a return to England's second tier.

Having finished 21st, 17th and ninth in their last three Championship seasons, it will be a surprise to some that the club are currently pushing for a return to the top level.

Sabri Lamouchi's team are currently fifth in the Championship, though, just two points off second-placed Leeds, who also have a huge game at home to seventh-placed Bristol City this weekend.

Forest beat Marcelo Bielsa's side last weekend, but they have actually lost two of their last three in the Championship, including a surprise 1-0 home loss to Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.

The Reds are entering a vital run of matches as they bid to stay in the race for promotion, and it will be fascinating to see how they perform against the league leaders this weekend.

West Brom Championship form: DLLWWW
West Brom form (all competitions): LWLWWW

Nottingham Forest Championship form: WDWLWL
Nottingham Forest form (all competitions): WDWLWL


Team News

Grady Diangana celebrates scoring for West Bromwich Albion on August 17, 2019© Reuters

West Brom will again be without the services of Grady Diangana and Kieran Gibbs, but the Baggies did not pick up any fresh injury concerns in the clash with Reading.

Bilic could therefore name an unchanged side from their last match, with Callum Robinson and Matheus Pereira again joining Hal Robson-Kanu in the final third of the field.

The fact that Matt Phillips, Kamil Grosicki and Charlie Austin all came off the bench against the Royals is an indication of West Brom's strength in depth, while Ahmed Hegazi was an unused substitute on Tuesday.

As for Forest, Tendayi Darikwa remains on the sidelines with a knee injury, but the away side's squad is otherwise in good shape heading into the clash at the Hawthorns.

Yuri Ribeiro, Samba Sow, Sammy Ameobi and Lewis Grabban were all left out against Charlton but should feature here, while Matty Cash is also expected to return to the starting XI.

West Brom possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; O'Shea, Bartley, Ajayi, Townsend; Sawyers, Livermore; Robinson, Krovinovic, Pereira; Robson-Kanu

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Cash, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro; Sow, Watson, Lolley, Silva, Ameobi; Grabban


Sports Mole Logo

We say: West Brom 2-1 Nottingham Forest

This is a difficult one to call for obvious reasons, but West Brom will enter the match off the back of three straight league victories while Forest have lost two of their last three. It is set to be a tight game at the Hawthorns, but we are backing the home side to record a narrow victory.


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Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

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