A week after a satisfying 3-0 win over Wolves, Nottingham Forest head back to the West Midlands to face a Birmingham City side experiencing the ‘new manager bounce’. Roman Filipowicz previews Saturday’s meeting at St Andrew’s


So, as it turned out, the trip to Wolverhampton wasn’t as difficult an afternoon as it seemed before the match. Arguably Forest’s most complete performance of the season to date saw the Reds return to Nottingham with three points, three goals and a clean sheet. This Saturday it’ll be back to the West Midlands as Forest will be taking on Wolves’ near(ish) neighbours Birmingham City.

It wasn’t so long ago that Birmingham City were – under the ‘leadership’ of Alex McLeish – winning the League Cup and competing in Europe. However, that triumph was accompanied by the ruin of relegation. McLeish left, (we won’t discuss where he ended up), Birmingham stayed down and have lurched around uncomfortably ever since. Even this season, results have been poor enough to necessitate a change of manager, with Lee Clark being sacked and eventually replaced by Gary Rowett. The nadir was an 8-0 home shellacking by Bournemouth. Ouch.

Rowett’s recruitment has seen something of a revival, and since the Bournemouth bludgeoning the Blues are unbeaten in four matches. Clayton Donaldson has had a decent start to the campaign and winger David Cotterill could be a threat. Birmingham also have ex-Forest midfielder Guy Moussi in their ranks now, though the Frenchman has yet to make his debut. He has, however, garnered praise for donating his Blues’ wages to a number of charities. With City on the road to recovery this will not be a walkover for the Reds.

However, Forest must be in a happy place right now, particularly after the manner of the Wolves victory. Presuming that no new injuries occur before kick-off, Stuart Pearce could name an unchanged team for the first time in, erm… ever? There are certainly no obvious changes to make after the last match: a dominant 3-0 away win suggests everyone played pretty well.

Despite Birmingham’s recent upturn in form, if Forest attack the match in the same manner they did the last one, there’s every chance we could be enjoying another successful visit to the West Midlands. A strong result would see the Reds keeping up with the pacesetters near the top of the League. Leading into the busy and often crucial Christmas period, there’s nowhere else we’d rather be.


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