Ain’t Nobody, like Tom Cairney, makes me happy, makes me feel this way! He’s back and I couldn’t be happier…
I had to get some Tom Cairney propaganda in there early as that goal has to be my moment of the season so far. Moving on to the matter at hand, two wins on the bounce after the international break and we look near back to our best. A rejuvenated Nottingham Forest stand in our way this weekend in what could be a very challenging game. After a poor start to the season, Championship stalwart Chris Hughton was sacked and replaced with Steve Cooper. Despite a lot of fans not wanting him at in the Fulham dugout when we showed interest over the summer, the job he has done so far at Forest has been impressive. All of a sudden they are looking a real threat in the final third with a combination of Philip Zinckernagel, Brennan Johnson and Lewis Grabban combining well. A stoppage time comeback in their last game against Bristol City shows they have grit and no Cooper side is ever a push over. This will be one of our toughest games.
On our side, we look back to our best. Our two performances since the international break have been very solid with the scoring return of Tom Cairney a highlight. Aleksandar Mitrovic is also in red hot form with him not only being the top scorer in the league but in the country. Hopefully we can keep our form up and push top of the league Bournemouth off their perch. Kenny Tete, Fabio Carvalho and Terence Kongolo may all make the squad against Forest giving us a significant boost. With all these players back, we have one of the best teams the Championship has ever seen and will be an incredible watch.
In terms of team news, it looks as though Harrison Reed and Nate Chalobah are out but other than that we are fully fit. I would make two changes to the side that beat Cardiff City with a player just back from injury set to start. Denis Odoi has done a solid job covering for the injured Kenny Tete but now he is back, it’s time for the Belgian to take a backseat. The other change I would make is bringing Josh Onomah in for Harrison Reed. The reason I don’t think we should start Cairney or Carvalho is that the Forest midfield is a physical one and we need a player to combat that. With no Reed or Chalobah, Onomah’s physique suits the game the best. I am worried if we rush back either midfielder they may get another injury and be out for even longer.
SCORE PREDICTION: Forest 1-2 Fulham
PREFERRED LINE-UP: 4-2-3-1
H2H LEAGUE RECORD (OVERALL)
- PLAYED – 92
- FULHAM WINS – 38
- DRAWS – 25
- FOREST WINS – 29
- GOALS SCORED – 140
- GOALS CONCEDED – 126
H2H LEAGUE RECORD (AWAY)
- PLAYED – 46
- FULHAM WINS – 11
- DRAWS – 14
- FOREST WINS – 21
- GOALS SCORED – 56
- GOALS CONCEDED – 84
LAST 5 GAMES
- NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0-1 FULHAM
- FULHAM 1-2 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
- FULHAM 2-0 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
- NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1-3 FULHAM
- FULHAM 3-2 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
BIGGEST WINS AT THE CITY GROUND
- NOTTINGHAM FOREST 7-0 FULHAM (1927/28)
- NOTTINGHAM FOREST 5-1 FULHAM (1920/21)
- NOTTINGHAM FOREST 4-1 FULHAM (1953/54)
- NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0-3 FULHAM (1919/20, 2000/01)
- NOTTINGHAM FOREST 3-0 FULHAM (1973/74, 1976/77, 2015/16)
PLAYERS IN COMMON
Harry Arter, Tony Barton, Dave Beasant, Nathaniel Chalobah, Cyrus Christie, Andy Cole, Stan Collymore, Mark Crossley, Danny Cullip, Ashkan Dejagah, Roy Dwight, Jonathan Greening, Pajtim Kasami, Anthony Knockaert, Paul Konchesky, Ross McCormack, Andy Melville.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Sunday’s match will be the 93rd league meeting between Nottingham Forest and Fulham.
- Blackpool are the only club that Fulham have played more league games against.
Here’s a Forest perspective from YouTuber DoreOnTour ahead of Sunday’s clash at the City Ground…
How would you assess your season so far?
A terrible start with poor tactics and the manager constantly blaming the players for results. The last month has been an unbelievable turnaround.
– 2/10 under Hughton
– 10/10 under Cooper
Steve Cooper was heavily linked to Fulham over the summer before we appointed Marco Silva. What have you made of him so far and what’s different when compared to Chris Hughton’s management?
He talks a great game, and so far, backs it up with performances on the pitch. Under Hughton, there was toxicity amongst supporters, and most of us felt disconnected from the club. Cooper has come in and removed all that anger and given the fans, team and him a connection between each other. There’s energy on the pitch and excitement off it. A polar opposite to Hughton.
Where do you expect to finish this season?
If you could take one Fulham player to sign for Forest, who would it be and why?
Mitro. Goals win games. Always a threat.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a squad?
Strengths: Great defence and wing backs.
Weakness: Loveable goalkeeper, who is a little bit crazy.
Would you take Cyrus Christie and Anthony Knockaert back?
If you’d have asked me a month ago, I’d have said “yes, probably”. Christie did well for us last season, but we have much better now.
Hughton never got the best out of Knockhaert, I’d like to see what Cooper could do with him, but I’m not sure we need him now.
How do you see the game panning out?
Mitro to open the scoring for you. Forest under the cosh for 60 minutes, Cooper to make some changes and Grabban to equalise on 67.
Forest dominating the final 20 mins with Fulham nearly snatching it at the death.
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Fulham
LEAGUE POSITION: 14TH
LEAGUE FORM: WWWWD
AWAY FORM: WWWWD
LAST RESULT: BRISTOL CITY 1-2 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
GOALS SCORED: 18 (10TH)
GOALS CONCEDED: 16 (13TH)
AVERAGE POSSESSION: 50% (9TH)
DISCIPLINE: 16 YELLOWS 1 RED (24TH)
TOP SCORER: LEWIS GRABBAN (5)
MOST ASSISTS: PHILIP ZINCKERNAGEL (4)