Thinking of watching El Classico this evening? Well don’t. Leicester play host to Nottingham Forest at the Walkers Stadium in this evening’s forgotten Championship clash.
Oh alright then, you win. It may not be much of a match for the famous tie in La Liga, but its importance will be no less to both sets of fans in this East Midlands tussle.
Leicester go in hunt of three points that would push them into the dizzy heights of mid-table, while Billy Davies and his Forest side look to continue their steady rise towards the play-offs.
Three points for the Reds would see them claim a spot in the play-off places after a solid run of form which has seen them lose just one of their last seven matches.
Last weekend’s impressive win at Cardiff put Forest back on the map as promotion contenders, but this evening they come up against a rejuvenated Leicester side including fresh faces.
Local boy Chris Kirkland joined earlier in the week from Wigan, while there was also the addition of West Brom striker Roman Bednar to bolster the ranks.
Since the arrival of Sven-Goran Eriksson the Foxes have lost just two of their last nine fixtures, keeping clean sheets in three of their last five matches.
Last Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Bristol City was a frustrating blemish on a previously tidy record, but Eriksson and his side will be keen to dwell on a performance which should have reaped all the points.
Last season’s fixtures between the two sides saw two results of entirely different proportions, Forest claiming a relentless 5-1 demolition at the City Ground before Leicester fought back on home territory with a superb 3-0 win.
Leicester striker Darius Vassell: ‘Result-wise it was disappointing, but the way that we played, especially in the first-half, was as strong as the team have played since I have been here.
‘After the time off, we have come in with the right attitude and look forward to this next one and we have looked very sharp in training. I am looking forward to it.’
Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies: ‘My message to the players is ‘keep doing what you are doing’,’ he said. Our away performances have been very positive.
‘People had been making a lot of our results, but we were quietly confident.
‘We have been very confident on the road, but haven’t always got the results we deserved.’
Leicester City Team News:
Centre back Miguel Vitor looks doubtful once again with the same niggling injury which has kept him out of the last two matches.
Midfielder Andy King, contrary to BBC reports, looks almost certain to be fit for the clash and should make the starting lineup.
Eriksson could hand debuts to Chris Kirkland and Roman Bednar, who both signed on loan this week.
Player to watch: Richie Wellens
A gutsy display is required from the combative midfielder this evening against a Forest side containing quality in abundance.
But what else would you expect?
Wellens’ dominant performances often prove influential to positive team performances, and getting it right today would hand his team a much-needed boost.
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Striker Dexter Blackstock is out nursing a knee ligament injury, while Paul McKenna, Paul Anderson and Brendan Maloney are all doubtful.
Billy Davies could hand starts to Aaron Ramsey and Marcus Tudgay, who both joined on loan this week.
Player to watch: Lewis McGugan
You only need to watch Soccer Saturday on a regular basis to understand why. The vidiprinter is often alive with the Forest midfielder’s name, who currently has an incredible nine league goals under his belt from the middle of the park this season.
It’s no wonder that Premier League clubs have been sniffing around the 22-year-old youth academy product, and McGugan should prove a force to watch for City this evening.
Match Facts & Stats
– Leicester are unbeaten in five home matches, last losing to league leaders QPR.
– A win for the Foxes would be their fourth in six.
– Forest have won only one of their last five away matches at Leicester.
– The two sides have both won 37 games each in their previous 96 meetings.
Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
I honestly can’t call this. But I have to, so Leicester 1-1 Nottingham Forest.
Saturday 5th November: