Two games into the Neil Harris era, and four points in the bank. So far, so good. Charlton was a game where we started slow but ended up dominating and peppering the Charlton goal with 20+ shots. Stoke was more hard-fought but getting a 1-0 win over a resurgent team was important and sets the tone for the coming days. It also meant we kept a clean sheet, something that was a rarity for us this season. Now our attentions turn to the Neil Harris derby – Nottingham Forest vs. Cardiff City.
Nottingham Forest vs. Cardiff City
City Ground, Nottingham
Saturday 30th November, 2019
Three things to watch out for…
Defensive difference. Despite a clean-sheet on Tuesday, there are still question marks over Aden Flint and Curtis Nelson’s partnership. The defence has taken the brunt of the blame for what’s happened this season and Flint has seemingly taken most of the flak. A fun fact: Aden Flint has been more effective in attack than Bobby Reid has at Fulham. So there’s that. Moz is back fully fit and there’s the temptation to plug him back in. My hunch is that Flint stays for Saturday but it could be last chance saloon…
Funky cold Madine. Madine got an assist on Tuesday and with Glatzel close to return, but not quite there yet, you’d assume Gary starts again on Saturday. He’s clawing back favour with the fans and his performance on Tuesday was promising. He seems to want to show the Cardiff fans what he can do and he deserves a goal for his efforts. A goal on Saturday and he cements his starting place.
An unchanged team. Could it be? Tomlin came in on Tuesday and injuries pending, the same team will start again tomorrow. NML is back firing on all cylinders, Madine is preferred up front and even Bacuna is getting goals. Things look energised under Harris and long may that continue.
Players to watch out for
Nottingham Forest and Cardiff have seemingly shared players over the years. And they currently have Sammy Ameobi on their wing. He seems to be doing ok for Forest and will probably want to get one up on a club wear he had a fairly average time on a loan under Slade.
Forest have also assembled a who’s who of good Championship players. Adomah on the wing, Grabban up front, Ben Watson in midfield, Joe Lolley there too. All of them great at the Championship level but often discarded as their teams move up through the leagues.
Worst case result
Forest tanked QPR at Loftus Road this week and are motoring up through the league. The City Ground has been fruitful for Cardiff over the years but it feels like a place where a first loss for Harris could be on the cards. Forest have the players to punish us. 2-0.
Best case result
Harris feels like the kind of manager who could set us up to do better away from home. Charlton was a great performance and if we get a similar level out of the team on Saturday, we could get a result. NML, Tomlin, Madine are starting to tick and if they click nicely this weekend, we could see a couple of goals. 2-1.