Venue: The City Ground
Fresh from the two week international break, Wolves travel to Nottingham Forest in the hope of continuing their remarkable charge to the playoffs.
The break came at a bad time Kenny Jackett’s men, as Wolves were starting to string together a series of good results and the hope will be that the momentum can be carried over when we face the East Midlands side.
Heading into the match against Forest, Jackett’s side are currently unbeaten in five matches, including an impressive victory over Derby County last time out. Wolves fans have every reason to be hopeful for a top six finish come the end of this season due to the form the side is currently showing.
This is in stark contrast to the form the last time Wolves faced Nottingham Forest back in November. Wolves were smack bang in the middle of a hapless run which saw them concede 16 goals and score just 2 in the space of five games.
Forest ran out comfortable 3-0 winners on that day with goals from Britt Assombalonga, Matty Fryatt and Henry Lansbury and the team left to a chorus of boos from the home support.
At the time some were even calling for Jackett’s head claiming he had taken us as far as he could following promotion from League One. But thankfully sensibility shone through and Jackett was given the time to continue to blend his ideas into the side and with a mix of young blood and new signing Benik Afobe’s incredible eye for goal, Wolves have been propelled into the higher echelons of the league.
Jackett himself recently spoke about how Afobe is a cornerstone of the team’s success with the clubs good form going hand in hand with his run of goals.
On the flip side, Nottingham Forest have saw their fortunes dwindle since that result and then manager Stuart Pearce has since been replaced by Dougie Freedman. Their form has turned around somewhat since his arrival but would need a near miracle to upset the rest of the teams challenging for a playoff spot.
However this game will still mean a lot to Forest who hope to end their season on a high. Expect a close game at the County Ground with one goal perhaps swinging it for either side.
Wolves’ fans will remember Michael Mancienne for the three years he spent on loan during Mick McCarthy’s time at the club. Mancienne was influential during his brief first stint with us and on his second and third stay found himself switching positions between centre back and a more unconventional role at defensive midfield. After spending time at the Bundesliga club Hamburg, he now finds himself at Nottingham Forest where he continues to impress. Mancienne will be hoping continued good form will see him move to another club in Europe’s top leagues in the near future due to Forest’s promotion challenge seemingly over.
Michail Antonio was a thorn in the side of the Wolves defence in the previous game at Molineux and Friday’s game will be no exception. With 13 league goals for his club currently this season, he is Forest’s main counter attacking threat with his blistering pace with the ball and ability to keep hold of it to bring others into play
Kevin McDonald yet again continued his run of assisting the main two strikers up top by setting up Nouha Dicko’s goal against Derby two weeks ago. This is a continuing sign of how crucial McDonald is to our winning formula. His aim to pick the ball up from deep, mixed with his accuracy to find the men ahead of him making him a vital asset to our midfield.
Nottingham Forest 11/8
First goal scorer
Dexter Blackstock 6/1
Matty Fryatt 6/1
Michail Antonio 7/1
Benik Afobe 5/1
Nouha Dicko 6/1
Bakary Sako 13/2
(Image via expressandstar.com)