West Bromwich Albion welcome Nottingham Forest to The Hawthorns in a huge Sky Bet Championship clash, as the promotion race continues to intensify.
A win for West Brom will temporarily send them nine points clear at the summit, whilst Forest can move into second for at least a few hours if they take victory.
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West Brom have no fresh injury concerns after their midweek win at Reading as three players, including Gareth Barry near a return from injury.
Gareth Barry (calf), Kieran Gibbs (fitness) and Chris Brunt (fatigue) are all back in training but are unlikely to be in contention this weekend.
Grady Diangana (hamstring) and Nathan Ferguson (knee) are both ruled out.
Forest could be without Lewis Grabban due to a knee injury despite being rested in Wednesday’s home defeat against Charlton.
Sammy Ameobi, Matty Cash and Yuri Ribeiro are amongst several regulars set to be recalled to the starting lineup, having been rested in midweek.
West Brom enter this game off the back of three consecutive wins after failing to win any of their previous seven league outings beforehand (D4, L3), yet have only kept one clean sheet at home this season which came against Luton earlier this month.
Forest enter this match with just one win from their three games this month (W1, L2) after losing at home to Charlton in midweek, whilst clinching just two clean sheets from their last five away league games (W2, D1, L2).
- West Brom have lost one of their last five league meetings against Nottingham Forest (W2, D2, L1).
- Forest are unbeaten in their last three trips to The Hawthorns (W2, D1).
- Five of the last nine goals between these teams have come in the second half.
This is a crucial game for Forest’s promotion hopes because defeat here will be a crushing blow for their promotion hopes, whilst the Baggies can probably afford to slip up here as long as they resume their winning ways quickly in coming weeks.
Like many, I was surprised to see Sabri Lamouchi rest so many of his Forest players in midweek, but it might well be a clever move given how busy this month is whereas the Baggies will likely be strong irrespective of the team that is fielded.
West Brom ultimately have the better momentum behind them though and with Storm Dennis brewing, I can see this being a tough encounter so am going for a draw here.
Prediction: WBA 1-1 Nottingham Forest
Result: WBA 2-2 Nottingham Forest