This game sees two sides and two coaches in desperate need of three points meet. Gianfranco Zola could really do with a win to kick-start his Birmingham reign into life while Philippe Montanier may well need a win to save his job with Forest in freefall.
Some media reports even suggest the Frenchman will be axed prior to this game but if he does take his team to St Andrews, he will need to find something from his team that hasn’t been evident of late. They’ve lost 6 of their last 7 games in all competitions and put in an abject performance at Wigan in the FA Cup last weekend. Just about the only positive thing you can say, is that Forest under him have usually had a goal or two in them.
They’ve scored 1.48 goals per game in the Championship this season, which is the best record outside of the top ten. The problem very clearly has been keeping the goals out. They’ve conceded 1.8 per game, the 2nd worst defensive record in the division and exactly 2 goals per game on average on their travels. The East Midlands club have kept just one clean sheet under Montanier and this will be his 30th game therefore, a home goal looks practically guaranteed here.
Birmingham you sense will be a bit more positive overall under Zola and look to play better football, but so far that is coming at the expense of results. The Italian has won none of his 5 matches in charge of the Blues and has lost both his home Championship games. Both teams have scored in 4 of his 5 games overall and in 5 of Birmingham’s last 6 matches in total. One man who does seem to have benefited from the appointment is forward Lukas Jutkiewicz. Blues have scored 5 goals under Zola and he has scored 4 of them and against a poor Forest defence, backing Jutkiewicz to score anytime looks a good bet here.
The hosts come into this game having kept just 1 clean sheet in 15 games though so an away goal also looks highly likely here and with Forest seemingly incapable of keeping clean sheets, backing Both Teams to Score at 8/11 looks an appealing bet.
Both teams to score tips and accumulators every day of the week!