Cardiff City v Nottingham Forest. Match preview

Last updated : 30 January 2004 By Michael Morris
Who would have guessed that we'd be playing a Forest team deep in relegation trouble. It was a shock to see Sheffield Wednesday go down last season. It would be a bigger shock if the twice European Cup winners fell into Division 2.

As things stand it looks like the fat lady is chirping away at Wimbledon. They are 12 points adrift. Bradford are also sinking fast, they have a 7 point gap to catch up. Then there's Forest, 2 points behind Derby.

What must Brian Clough be thinking as he watches current boss Paul Hart sink deeper and deeper into trouble.

One of City's best wins of the season came at Forest back in August. A first visit to the City Ground in over 25 years was celebrated with a superb 2 - 1 win for Cardiff. The previous match between the teams was just before Forest won a glut of trophies under Clough including the League title and TWO European Cups. That game in 1977 on the April 23rd, the 50th anniversary of City's FA Cup win, saw Peter Sayer score a winner for City. Forest then went 51 games at home unbeaten.

Oh times have changed. The current team have not won a league game in the last 12. They have not scored in the last 5 games. Defeat at Ninian Park could signal the end for Hart, the Forest fans are not happy.

Cardiff City must be focussed on winning the game. Forest's poor run will end sometime. Lets hope it's not this weekend.

City are in 10th place, 5 points off the play off places. If that had been offered to the Bluebirds faithfull at the start of our first season back at this level for 18 years it would have been gratefully accepted but the very nature of football fans means we want more. City come into this game with back to back league victories and another one tomorrow could see the play offs a tad closer.

I believe we should always aim for the top, let's not settle for mid table mediocrity as our reward, we have a chance to go a step further. No favours for Forest lets see another City win.

On the pitch there is lttle team news yet. Lennie is quite predictable though so unless there is any injuries I would expect City to line up

Margetson, Weston, Vidmar, Gabbidon, Barker, Langley, Kav, Boland, Parry, Thorne, Earnshaw. Subs Alexander, Prior or Collins, Whalley, Campbell, Lee.

Gary Croft starts his 3 game suspension while Richard Langley is only 1 yellow card away from a 2 match ban.

There should be more team news on Friday afternoon.

This game is a chance for City to do a second double of the season. The first came with two great wins over Stoke City. A double over Forest will do very nicely indeed. The referee who took charge in Nottingham in August was Howard Webb and he is in control tomorrow. He's the chap who officiated our play off final win at the Millennium Stadium.

Kick off at Ninian Park tomorrow is at 3:00pm. The next two games are both away at 1pm, next week at Derby and the week after at WBA.