FA Cup Preview: Nottingham Forest v Cardiff City

FA Cup third round weekend sees this all Championship tie at the City Ground. Forest have only beaten Cardiff twice since 2012 with the Bluebirds winning ten times. Cardiff won 2-0 when the sides met in Nottingham earlier in the season with Kieffer Moore scoring both goals. Home advantage hasn’t been such a factor this season and Forest will be glad of that as Cardiff have won on their last six visits to Nottingham.

Team News

For Forest Luke Freeman is close to a return to the side after two months out. Chris Hughton could use this game to rest some key players. Cyrus Christie, Yuri Ribeiro, Samba Sow and Lewis Grabban among those who may miss this one.

Cardiff have a centre half problem Sean Morrison went off early against Wycombe. Aden Flint has returned to Cardiff from Sheffield Wednesday but is injured. Filip Benkovic has returned to Leicester City and Sol Bamba also carrying an injury. Lee Tomlin is still not ready as is on-loan Jordi Osei-Tutu. Kieffer Moore is still out with a hamstring tear.

Manager Thoughts

Forest Manager Chris Hughton insists that they will be taking the FA Cup seriously,

“This competition has a special place for me, as a player, a coach and as a manager. The feel of the cup is always there, we all know the circumstances this season are very different to other seasons because of no supporters and a different general feel, but whenever the FA Cup comes around there is that little spark and that is through everybody.

“For them, I think they will want to get back to winning ways. I don’t know what team they will put out but my thoughts are that they will go strong. They had their last league game that was called off so I anticipate they will go strong.

“We are probably, with regards to form, going into it a bit different, but we all know that in one-off games that can go quickly out of the window. We have a strong reason for wanting to win the game and so have they.”

Cardiff boss Neil Harris will miss the fans as they help to make the Cup special,

“If you take the fans out of it, you’re taking away a massive chunk of the FA Cup,” he began. “But it’s a competition that I enjoy and we’re taking seriously, as always.

“I was very fortunate to have played or managed in Quarter-Finals, a Semi-Final and a Final, so I’ve had a great affiliation with the competition, but it’s not the same without the fans.

“It’s the best cup competition in the world for two reasons: because the fans buy into it in the UK and because the underdog status gives you the opportunity to play in a cup final.

“It’s a game I want to win and I’ll be picking a team accordingly to win the game.”

Prediction; Nottingham Forest 1-0 Cardiff City

Cardiff have had a poor showing in cup competitions in recent years and given the amount of injuries Cardiff are carrying, Forest will finally beat the Bluebirds at home.

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