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Jan 30, 2022 at 4pm UK
CardiffCardiff City
Nott'm ForestNottingham Forest
Hugill (6'), Davies (65')
Drameh (52'), Wintle (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Davis (90+4')
Colback (27')

Preview: Cardiff City vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Cardiff City vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Championship clash between Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Nottingham Forest travel to South Wales to face Cardiff City looking to record their fourth successive win in the Championship.

While the visitors head into Sunday's contest sitting just outside of the playoff places, Cardiff begin the weekend three points above the relegation zone.

Match preview

There was a time at the back end of 2021 where it appeared that Forest were beginning to run out of steam, a feeling highlighted by defeats to Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town.

However, the start of the transfer window came at the right time for head coach Steve Cooper, and Forest have since recorded four victories in succession in all competitions.

The triumph over Arsenal in the FA Cup was the clear catalyst, but the East Midlands outfit deserve huge credit for following that success with wins over Millwall, Derby County and Barnsley.

Forest somehow remain outside of the playoffs despite recording six wins from eight - the second best return since the start of December - but Cooper and his rejuvenated squad will continue to focus on the long game.

While retaining the services of Brennan Johnson may prove key, Keinan Davis has added a freshness to the attack with the Aston Villa loanee netting his first goal in Tuesday's win against Barnsley.

Steve Morison seemingly finds himself in a difficult position at the Cardiff City Stadium, the interim boss only on a contract until the end of the season and rumours persisting that he may be replaced.

The latter is arguably harsh on the 38-year-old, who has collected some notable results inbetween the six defeats in 13 games, but the club's owners recognise the importance of staying outside of the relegation zone.

Again, it would be harsh to view this contest as last-chance saloon for Morison but with reports suggesting that Neil Warnock may make a return to the club, he will understand the importance of at least avoiding defeat against one of the in-form teams in the division.

Cardiff's next two league games come against Barnsley and Peterborough United, further upping the ante ahead of this contest with extra breathing space above the latter of those teams craved as soon as possible.

Cardiff City Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Cardiff City form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Nottingham Forest Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Nottingham Forest form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Morison will likely make a number of changes to his Cardiff XI with Sean Morrison and Will Vaulks both options in defence and midfield respectively.

Max Watters is in contention for a start in attack after scoring as a substitute against Bristol City, while Ryan Wintle is another who could be drafted into the team.

While Cardiff are attempting to re-sign Ryan Giles on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, the paperwork may not be filed in time for this game.

Forest boss Cooper must decide whether to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation which proved effective against Barnsley, or revert back to the more familiar 3-4-2-1.

The latter appears more likely with Max Lowe expected to come back into the team, a move which would see Ryan Yates drop into a back three and Jack Colback move into midfield.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; McGuinness, Flint, Morrison; Drameh, Doyle, Pack, Vaulks, Ng; Collins, Watters

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Yates, Cook, McKenna; Spence, Garner, Colback, Lowe; Johnson, Grabban; Davis

We say: Cardiff City 0-2 Nottingham Forest

While Morison's role in the dugout is seemingly under threat, he knows that he cannot afford to be too gung-ho in search of maximum points. Nevertheless, his approach to the game may prove irrelevant given Forest's recent form, and we are backing the visitors to claim a relatively comfortable win.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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