Championship: Improving Forest face pre-season favourites Boro
Nottingham Forest can move into the Championship‘s top six with a home win over pre-season promotion favourites Middlesbrough, and make it three victories in a week. Coral offer odds of 27/10 for Dougie Freedman to deliver that.
Boro counterpart Aitor Karanka is looking to maintain his Teesside team in an automatic place with three points at the City Ground, though, and The Riverside outfit are 23/20 favourites to get that in the East Midlands. A draw comes in at 23/10.
Forest surprised everyone by coming from behind against QPR, but couldn’t keep Charlie Austin quiet. If current form is any indicator, they are also going to have similar problems with Middlesbrough’s Uruguay forward Christian Stuani, who has seven in eight outings.
Joining Karanka’s club seemed like an eyebrow-raising move for a man in La Celeste’s international set-up, but has already paid off. Stuani is a nifty 19/10 to net again anytime, and 5/1 to score last having done so on three occasions already.
Another thorn in Forest’s side could well be former Leicester City striker David Nugent. Although he’s not exactly been prolific against them during his career, the 30-year-old is a proven Championship marksman and a tasty 2/1 anytime chance here.
Ghana winger Albert Adomah handed in a transfer request this summer, but has instead knuckled down at Boro and stayed on, rounding off their midweek victory over Brentford. Karanka insists there is “no problem” with the player, who is 13/5 to net for the second match running here.
“I’m pleased for him and he deserves it; the last two weeks I’m sure weren’t good for him,” said the Middlesbrough manager of Adomah after his strike. “He has been very important many times for the team, he’s always an important player.
“I said two or three weeks ago that I had no problem with Albert. It takes time, for him an experienced player who has played World Cup, Copa America and the Spanish First Division. Now that he has scored he has brought his confidence to the team and he’s another big player for us.”
Freedman, meanwhile, is sweating on the fitness of QPR match-winner Nelson Oliveira, who has a sprained ankle. If involved, any impact the Portugal international is likely to make will be off the bench, and he thus represents a final scorer alternative at 15/2.
Long-serving target man Dexter Blackstock should once again lead Forest’s line after a winning goal against Birmingham City in midweek, and he is 14/5 to net again anytime.
Both teams have plenty to play for, so expect goals here, especially as Boro have scored three themselves in four fixtures already this term. For this encounter to contain exactly three goals, odds of 16/5 are appealing, though four or more at 14/5 may also be worth a wager.