Nottingham Forest will be looking for back-to-back wins in the Championship on Saturday as they face Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for Martin O’Neill’s side to build on their win against Derby. The Reds have only secured back-to-back wins once so far this season. That is something that must change soon if they are to have any chance of making the play-offs.

The Reds are currently three points off the play-offs. Both Bristol City and Derby, who are the two sides sat above them, have tricky fixtures away at Preston and Aston Villa respectively. If they do drop more points this weekend, the Reds have to ensure they take advantage.

There’s no doubt that away performances under O’Neill recently have been good. Although, they still haven’t picked up an away win since 24 November. They will be looking to end that run as soon as possible.

Ahead of tomorrow’s game, Seat Pitch has taken a look at three players that the Reds will have to deal with if they are to secure the three points.


Joe Allen

The Potters made a number of impressive signings in the summer, but tying Joe Allen down to a new four-year contract was seen as their best piece of business.

The 28-year-old Welsh maestro has been ever-present under both Gary Rowett and now Nathan Jones in the Championship this season. Under the management of Jones, Allen has recently been utilised as a defensive midfielder, providing protection to the back four in a 4-1-4-1 formation. This allows the likes of Charlie Adam and Sam Clucas to push further forward.

(Photo by Jon Hobley/ MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

There’s no doubt that his experience could be valuable for the Potters in this match. Having so recently played in the Premier League, he has the passing range to open the Reds up if they don’t keep a close eye on him.

Tom Ince

A long-standing nemesis of the Reds, Tom Ince is certainly one to watch out for in this match. He’s caused the Reds problems in the past, most notably during his time at Derby.

Stoke signed the 27-year-old winger in July in a deal worth up to £12 million. It’s fair to say he hasn’t lived up to expectations. He’s made 32 appearances in all competitions so far, scoring just six times. He hasn’t scored in his last 13 appearances and will be desperate to end that dreadful run against the Reds.

No matter what your opinion of Ince is, he remains a threat in this division and Jack Robinson will have to be alert to limit his influence on the game.

Sam Vokes

Sam Vokes only joined the Potters on Deadline Day last month. He was involved in one of the more bizarre deals as he joined the club from Burnley, whilst Peter Crouch went the other way.

(Photo by Molly Darlington – AMA/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old striker scored his first goal for Jones’ side last weekend. He’ll be delighted to have got himself off the mark and will be hoping he can build on that. As he’s 6ft 1in, Vokes certainly has a presence about him and will relish a physical battle against both Yohan Benalouane and Alexander Milošević.

Vokes does have the quality to cause them problems. He wasn’t playing in the Premier League in the first half of the season for no reason. He has the quality to score plenty of goals in this division and needs to be watched.

Have something to tell us about this article?