Football Previews

Nottingham Forest vs Reading preview, predictions & possible XIs

By Harry Edwards

Published: 16:12, 21 January 2020

Nottingham Forest will be looking to step up their quest for automatic promotion when they host Reading in midweek.

Sabri Lamouchi’s side are currently fifth in the Championship but have a game in hand on those above them and could move up to third if they beat Reading.

And they may fancy their chances with Reading not faring too well in 16th, though the closeness of the Championship this season means they could jump up to 12th with a win.

This game was initially meant to be contested in October but had to be rescheduled after the match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Read on for our Nottingham Forest vs Reading preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.

When is Nottingham Forest vs Reading and where can I watch live?

Competition: Championship

Venue: City Ground

Date: Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Kick-off: 7:45 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): N/A

Last five meetings: Nottingham Forest vs Reading

11 January 2020: Reading 1-1 Nottingham Forest (Championship)

12 January 2019: Reading 2-0 Nottingham Forest (Championship)

11 August 2018: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Reading (Championship)

20 February 2018: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Reading (Championship)

31 October 2017: Reading 3-1 Nottingham Forest (Championship)

Aggregate Score: Nottingham Forest (DLWDL) 4-7 Reading (DWLDW)

Ones to watch

Nottingham Forest: Lewis Grabban

Although Forest have been impressive as a unit this season, Lewis Grabban is one man that seems to stand above the rest. The 32-year-old has been key to Forest’s push up the table and continues to perform at his best when required, scoring goals for fun.

In total, Grabban has scored in 11 different Championship games this season, and Forest are yet to taste defeat in any of those matches, winning nine and drawing just twice. So, Forest will be hoping Grabban finds the net again this week as they push towards the top of the table.

Key stat: Lewis Grabban has scored 15 goals in the Championship this season, at least nine more than any other Nottingham Forest player.

Reading: John Swift

Reading haven’t been the best in front of goal this season but that isn’t for a lack of trying, particularly from John Swift.

The 24-year-old midfielder has been the Royals’ standout player, more than capable in attack but also able to do his bit defensively. Swift has five league goals this season but his best contribution comes with assists, setting up his team-mates on seven occasions. This could, arguably, be more if he had a prolific goalscorer in front of him with Swift creating 65 chances in total.

Key stat: John Swift (12) has been directly involved in more Championship goals than any other Reading player this season.

Team news

Nottingham Forest

Forest have a relatively fit squad to choose from, with the exception of long-term absentee Tendayi Darikwa who remains out with an ACL injury.

With a free weekend coming up as Forest are out of the FA Cup, Lamouchi may opt against rotation, picking his strongest XI to get the job done.

Predicted XI: Samba; Cash, Dawson, Worrall, Ribeiro; Sow, Watson; Lolley, Silva, Adomah; Grabban.

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Lucas Joao and Andy Yiadom remain unavailable for Reading who could make some changes with an eye on Saturday’s FA Cup fixture with Cardiff City.

Predicted XI: Cabral; Gunter, Morrison, Miazga, Blackett; Pele, Adam; McCleary, Swift, Ejaria; Puscas.

Squawka prediction

These two sides met only recently in the Championship and there was no separating them in a 1-1 draw but expect this game to be slightly different.

Forest have the upper hand, being able to field their strongest side with a weekend off and are the team in form, unbeaten in their past five Championship matches.

If Grabban scores, you know just how this game will end.

Scoreline prediction: Nottingham Forest 2-0 Reading