Monday, 29 September 2014

A Wigan a Prayer

It's back on the road and back in action as Nottingham Forest continue their Championship campaign with a trip to the Springfield Park JJB Stadium DW Stadium to take on Wigan Athletic, who were, I think I'm right in saying, the only team to do the league double over the Reds last season.

Forest make the trip to the North West still unbeaten, but having been knocked off the top of the table due to their second consecutive goalless draw, this time at home to Brighton and Hove Albion. By a strange quirk of fixture-computer-generated fate, Forest will again be facing one of last season's losing playoff semi-finalists next up, and indeed another team that play in blue and white stripes. Spooky.

Much as with Brighton, Wigan haven't enjoyed the best start to their Championship season, languishing as they are in lower-mid table on eight points - again just as Brighton were. However, with the likes of Shaun Maloney, Callum McManamanamanaman and, er, James Perch in their lineup they're unlikely to be pushovers. Them being at home should mean they play in a more attacking manner than the Seagulls did however, which might play into Forest's hands.

None of the Reds' injured quintet of Chris Cohen, Andy Reid, Matt Fryatt, Jack Hobbs and David Vaughan are likely to play against the Latics so it wouldn't be a surprise if Stuart Pearce stuck by the team who laboured somewhat - but at least kept a clean sheet - against Brighton. The omens for this one aren't good though: Wigan inflicted Forests's first league defeat of last season and, if they were to repeat the feat this time round, the Reds record after their first ten matches would be identical to last term, with five wins, four draws and a solitary loss.

Still, let's not be too downbeat. Forest are more than capable of getting a result in this match and - as mentioned earlier - with the onus being on Wigan to attack, the opportunities might arise for Forest to hit them on the break. A return to winning ways would be most welcome and would see the Reds nicely positioned ten matches in. Get the next couple of matches out of the way, get to the next international break and get the injured players healthy again and things will look a lot more rosy.

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