FA CUP PREVIEW

AUTHOR: Lewis Williams

STAR FOOTBALL PREVIEW Wed: Blackpool v Nottingham Forest

It’s been a tough week for Nottingham Forest – who narrowly avoided being cupset by Blackpool in the third round for the second straight year at the City Ground – but Nuno’s men can avoid the same fate with victory in their replay at Bloomfield Road.

Two goals in three first half minutes from Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel and Albie Morgan had them on the ropes, although goals from Nicolas Dominguez and Morgan Gibbs-White either side of half time had them level and they were arguably a little unlucky not to have settled matters on the day, ramping up the pressure and winning the shot count 17-3 and the corner count 7-0.

Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo moaned that his side’s winter break plans were in disarray thanks to the replay, but Nuno’s men haven’t had a game since that draw on the seventh and they should be ready to go after a ten-day break since then. The ex-Wolves boss has made a flying start as Steve Cooper’s replacement, beating Newcastle at St James’s Park and then Manchester United at the City Ground before their draw against Blackpool.

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Blackpool v Nottingham Forest
FA CUP
19.45 ITV / STV / ITVX

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 games)
JAN 2024 FA CUP Nottingham Forest 2-2 Blackpool
JAN 2023 FA CUP Blackpool 4-1 Nottingham Forest
APR 2022 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackpool 1-4 Nottingham Forest
OCT 2021 CHAMPIONSHIP Nottingham Forest 2-1 Blackpool
FEB 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackpool 4-4 Nottingham Forest
AUG 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Nottingham Forest 2-0 Blackpool
FEB 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackpool 1-1 Nottingham Forest
NOV 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP Nottingham Forest 0-1 Blackpool
APR 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP Nottingham Forest 1-1 Blackpool
OCT 2012 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackpool 2-2 Nottingham Forest

Neil Critchley’s men deserve plenty of respect for taking Forest this far and shouldn’t be underestimated – they thumped their Premier League opposition 4-1 in last season’s third round, made Forest earn their draw at home, and have won both their games since then, beating Burton Albion (2-1) in the EFL Trophy and then Exeter (2-0) in League One.

Their excellent home record – they’ve won 15 of their last 20 home games – along with in form midfielder Albie Morgan, who scored the opener at the City ground and notched both goals against Exeter and leading striker Jordan Rhodes (15 goals in 25 games) has taken them just short of the playoffs in League One.

However, despite a key game against Brentford on Saturday and the absence of six players at AFCON, we can expect a strong side from Nuno, who’s had the benefit of plenty of preparation time for this game even if their mid-season plans have been thrown into disarray.

We should see a defence including Neco Williams and Murillo, a midfield centred around the improving midfielder Ryan Yates, and a forward contingent of Morgan Gibbs-White, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Nicolas Dominguez and Chris Wood, and given the 37 places between the two sides, a more focused and fresh Forest should be able to get the job done in 90 minutes at 5/6 with starsports.bet.

WILLIAM KEDJANYI


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