Next up it's Nottingham Forest on a cold, Tuesday night in November. What could possibly go wrong. No doubt our Little Yellow Birds will explain...
After keeping Ipswich company in the abyss of the Championship for many years, Nottingham Forest have seen expectations rise this season, just like a lovely fresh loaf of Warburton’s in the oven.
With five academy products in the team, and the majority of the starting XI under 25, they have uncovered a bit of missing verve and vigour. Star of the show is 20 year old Keiran Dowell, on loan from Everton, who with six goals sits alongside the conversely ancient Daryl Murphy as top scorer. Murphy himself was rested in the last game after an ‘emotionally taxing’ international break with Ireland (poor diddums) but will be back to face Norwich. Oh good, Timm will be thrilled.
Forest may have lost away to hapless Birmingham at the weekend, but according to local press this was a ‘blip’. Certainly at home they are an entirely different beast, having won five of their eight games- the last being a 4-0 demolition of QPR. There is a buzz around the City Ground and it's not a dodgy PA system, with fans suggesting they ‘wouldn't be surprised if Forest give Norwich a spanking’. Ouch.
A young team full of optimism and confidence versus a team who seem tired and void of ideas. Sounds like a lovely combination.
In 1865 a group of youngsters from St Andrews church, Nottingham, formed a football club. They played on the Forest Recreation ground, and so began Nottingham Forest.
In days of yore football was most definitely a contact sport. Hacking of legs, tripping and use of elbows were all considered within the rules, as was barging of the goalkeeper - even if he was nowhere near the ball.
In a bid to protect themselves from the inevitably broken leg, the Forest players began attaching protective shields to their shins, and so became the first team to wear shin pads.
So there you have it. Nottingham Forest; saviour of tibias across the world.
CT: Forest a force at home + Norwich pretty good away + Forest not drawn at all + Norwich drawn far too many + Forest confident + Norwich, er not = not a flipping clue whats going to happen.
Clare Calculates: I will hazard a guess at 2-0 to Forest. I’m sorry.
RJ: Our defensive solidity has deserted us recently and with Trybull out and Tettey still being absent, we look like we can be got at. We’re currently toothless upfront, predictable, pedestrian and lacking in character and leadership. Forest are expecting a large crowd for a game under lights and I’m afraid we are there for the taking. If you can’t tell, I’m not confident.
Rich Reckons: Regulation home win. No alarms and no surprises. Tricky Trees 3 - Farke’s Plastic Trees 0.
ZW: Oh dear, it’s all a bit grumbly at the moment isn’t it. I’m concerned that Trybull is out, and that’s on top of all the other concerning things. Still, I remain convinced that a wonderful performance is just around the corner and why shouldn’t that come on Tuesday? Let’s get back to winning ways away at teams who are doing pretty well.
Zoë Assumes: Nottingham Forest 0-1 Norwich City.
SW: For all the dismay, we are only three points off the playoffs. That’s what the Championship’s like. The whole outlook of the season can change in just four games, better or for worse. Ours has changed for the worse, but it could just as easily, and just as unpredictably change for the better.
Yet with Forest up next, I’m not banking on that to happen. They’ve scored ten goals in their last four games to our meagre three. And our defence has decided to be totally rubbish again, which is nice. It’s a classic ‘can they do it on a Tuesday night in’ — yet in the last few weeks we haven’t even been able to do it on a pleasant Saturday afternoon at Carrow Road.
Seb Foresees: Norwich to get lost in the Forest: Robin Hood’s merry men 2, Farke's bandits 0.