Nottingham Forest Host Stoke City With the Play-Offs Still Not Secured

Nottingham

Nottingham Forest welcome Stoke City to the City Ground in the final game of the Championship season.

Nottingham Forest vs Stoke City

What is at Stake?

The home side go into the last match of the season still needing a point to secure their place in the Play-Offs.

They almost grabbed that point though when they faced Barnsley at the weekend, but a 93rd minute from Patrick Schmidt meant Forest left Oakwell with nothing.

“It was more than disappointing,” Reds boss Sabri Lamouchi said after the game. “Not only for the goal in extra time, (but) for the performance, (and) the spirit.

“The spirit in the dressing room was absolutely terrible, but my job is to talk with them honestly. The manager needs to take the responsibility and this is my responsibility.”

They face a Stoke City side who on Saturday dealt a massive blow to Brentford’s automatic promotion hopes by beating them 1-0 at the Bet365 Stadium.

That victory guaranteed the Potters’ Championship status. It also means they travel across the A50 with nothing to play for.

It’s still very much in Nottingham Forest’s hands, but with top-six contenders Swansea City at Reading, and Cardiff City facing a Hull City side condemned to League One football, they cannot afford any slip-ups.

Match Facts

Lewis Grabban is the third top scorer in the Championship with 20 goals. He is also the first Forest striker to reach that target since David Johnson in the 2002/03 season – ironically David’s son Brennan plays with Grabban at Forest.

Stoke have lost just one of their last five matches – that was a 5-0 defeat at divisional Champions Leeds United. Forest meanwhile, have not won in their last five games. They have also conceded four times in 90th minute stoppage time since the restart.

But the Reds did come out on top in their previous encounter back in September, goals from Joe Lolley, Sammy Ameobi, and Grabban helped the Reds to a 3-2 win in the Potteries.

Forest look to be without Samba Sow and Alfa Semedo for this one, but will be hoping keeper Brice Samba, Matty Cash and Lolley, will be available for this crunch game at the City Ground.

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