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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Expect Forest to ease any nerves in opening exchanges

Home side full of goals at City Ground

Ben Brereton celebrates a goal for Forest
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports 3, midday Sunday

The equation is simple for Nottingham Forest. If they match Blackburn's result at Brentford they will stay in the Sky Bet Championship, but it is realistic to anticipate that they will be more proactive than that against Ipswich.

Given Forest's precarious league position, manager Mark Warburton will be delighted that their final match of the campaign is on the banks of the River Trent as they have been a decent force at the City Ground.

That 37 of their 48 points have been earned at home tells its own story and Blackburn may not have much faith in the Tractor Boys doing them a favour as Mick McCarthy's team have scored just 18 goals on their travels - only Aston Villa and basement boys Rotherham have scored fewer.

While many would suspect the circumstances of the game will result in a nervy encounter, Craven Cottage and Carrow Road are the only Championship grounds to have witnessed more goals than Forest's home.

Their tally of 39 goals eclipses the total that playoff trio Huddersfield (34), Sheffield Wednesday and Reading (both 35) have amassed.

Ipswich scored in eight consecutive away matches before their most recent outing at Rotherham, but their prospects are hit by the unavailability of Tom Lawrence, who has netted nine league goals this season to lead the Tractor Boys' goalscoring charts.

They will make the right noises about approaching the game with a positive attitude - they are seven points clear of the drop zone - but it is not worth taking the chance.

So, instead, it is better to concentrate on what Forest will do and it is worth backing them to score in each half at 13-10.

A fast start from the home side looks likely and they have notched either side of half-time in eight home matches this term.

Forest have scored at least twice in seven of their last ten home matches and they can do so again.

Forest to score in both halves
2pts 13-10 Hills

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Team news
Nottingham Forest
Danny Fox, Zach Clough and Jack Hobbs are all doubtful for the Tricky Trees.

Striker Tom Lawrence is ruled out with an ankle problem while David McGoldrick, Teddy Bishop, Kevin Bru and Tommy Smith will all be assessed.

Key stat
Forest have failed to score in just one of their last ten home matches

Craven Cottage and Carrow Road are the only Championship grounds to have witnessed more goals than Forest's home.
E.W. Terms
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