Football Previews

Nottingham Forest vs Luton preview, predictions & possible XIs

By James Richards

Published: 12:29, 18 January 2020

Nottingham Forest’s return to form couldn’t have been more timely with the Championship outfit firmly wedged in the play-off places.

The face rock-bottom Luton on Sunday with the Hatters poised for an immediate return to League One following a gruelling campaign back in the second-tier.

Graeme Jones’s side look unlikely to turn things around with the Luton boss appearing to exude the kind of confidence seen in a man about to try and steal the kill from a pack of Wolves.

Forest, on the other hand, have overcome their mini-slump and are now unbeaten in the last four, winning three of them making them confident of picking up another three points in Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off.

When is Nottingham Forest v Luton and where can I watch live?

Competition: EFL Championship

Venue: The City Ground, Nottingham

Date: Sunday, 19 January 2020

Kick-off: 12:00 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Football and live online on the Sky Sports app.

Last five meetings: Nottingham Forest vs Luton

05 March 1994: Nottingham Forest 2-0 Luton (EFL Division 1)

27 October 2007: Luton 2-1 Nottingham Forest (League One)

11 December 2007: Luton 1-0 Nottingham Forest (FA Cup)

19 April 2008: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Luton (League One)

02 November 2019: Luton 1-2 Nottingham Forest (EFL Championship)

Aggregate Score: Nottingham Forest (WWLLW) 5-4 Luton (LLWWL)

Ones to watch

Nottingham Forest: Lewis Grabban

In the Championship, a goal scorer is worth his weight in gold and Forest have that in Lewis Grabban. The striker has been in top form in 2019-20, ably supported by the likes of Joe Lolley and Tiago Silva.

In fact, Grabban has been so important that he has taken most of the scoring burden upon his own shoulders and the 32-year-old will be vital to the club’s chances of finishing in the top six at the end of the season.

Key stat: Lewis Grabban has scored 14 times for Nottingham Forest in the Championship this season, at least 10 more than any of his teammates.

Luton: James Collins

When questions were raised about whether James Collins was good enough for League One many Luton fans laughed at the suggestion and well they might. He netted 25 times in 44 games last season to spearhead the club to promotion.

James Collins has been a superb player since signing from Crawley and he continues to improve year-on-year including in the Championship this season, hitting nine goals so far. Despite Luton’s struggles, Collins continues to impress even though his manager has adopted the strange habit of playing him out wide.

The Irish international will be vital to the Hatters chances of survival and they will need to keep him at the club if they want to bounce back should relegation be confirmed come May.

Key stat: James Collins has been directly involved in 11 goals (nine goals and two assists) this season for Luton, more than any other Hatter.

Team news

Nottingham Forest

Tendayi Darikwa is definitely out for Forest but other than that Lamouchi has a full complement of players to pick from. Ben Watson and Samba Sow look set to continue at the heart of midfield following some impressive displays.

Grabban will lead the line, supported by Joe Lolley who could come into the starting XI while Silva and Ameobi complete the front four.

Predicted XI: Samba; Cash, Figueiredo, Worrall, Rodriguez; Watson, Sow; Lolley, Silva, Ameobi; Grabban.

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Dan Potts is available again after injury and could replace James Bree, while both Isaiah Brown and Brendan Galloway will miss out.

Danny Hylton remains sidelined and Martin Cranie is a major doubt. Ryan Tunnicliffe is pushing to get back into midfield with Andrew Shinnie’s place under threat.

Predicted XI: Sluga; Daniels, Bradley, Pearson, Potts; Berry, Mpanzu, Tunnicliffe; Cornick, Lualua, Collins.

Squawka prediction

Sabri Lamouchi has been leading Forest to new heights this season. He will be hoping their poor run during December is behind them and recent results have put them back on the front foot.

Luton are in an awful run of form and appear all but set to return to League One despite being the best side in the third tier last season. It has been a long campaign already for the Hatters and it doesn’t appear likely to get better any time soon.

Scoreline prediction: Nottingham Forest 3-1 Luton