It would be fair to say that expectations amongst these two sides were completely contrasting at the start of the season. Nottingham Forest well and truly splashed the cash, with the clear aim of at least challenging for promotion. Charlton meanwhile were seen as a side who could struggle, after battling in and around the bottom three last term. As it turns out, both sit next to each other in the table on the same number of points.
It’s actually Nottingham Forest who hold the slightly loftier position, with the club in 9th position due to goal difference. However, it looked completely different for Stuart Pearce’s side earlier on in the campaign, after they led the division following a convincing start over the opening few games. An absolutely appalling run of form, which saw them fail to win in ten successive matches, saw them tumble out of the promotion mix and it’s only recently that victories have started to occur again. While they did suffer defeat to Birmingham in their most recent game, prior to that they beat both Norwich and Wolves. Still, having won just one of their last five at the City Ground, Forest fans have every reason to be somewhat cautious ahead of this clash.
Charlton started the season in similar fashion and were also battling in the top positions in the opening months. Just like their opponents, things did take a turn for the worse though and over recent weeks they have found victories a lot more difficult to come by. To put this into a statistical perspective, they’ve managed just one win from their last six. To make matters more concerning for the Valley outfit, they’ve also just managed one win in their last four games on the road – meaning that their away form effectively mimics Forest’s home record.
Nottingham Forest’s chances in this game will be hindered through the absence of top scorer Britt Assombalonga, who sits this one out following his straight red card in the club’s last game. However, there is better news in relation to Jamaal Lascelles who should be involved in some capacity after recovering from a groin injury. Charlton on the other hand have something of an injury crisis and the Addicks could be without a whole host of first team regulars. Stephen Henderson, Simon Church, Yoni Buyens, Franck Moussa and Rhoys Wiggins are all on the treatment table and definite absentees.
In terms of a prediction, we think Nottingham Forest will put their recent blip at home behind them. They’re up against a side who have struggled on the road recently and bearing this in mind our tip will be a slender 2-1 victory for Stuart Pearce’s men.