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Nottingham Forest face tricky task against prolific Middlesbrough

17 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Nottingham Forest face tricky task against prolific Middlesbrough

Dougie Freedman’s men are aiming for three wins in row, but face a difficult day against Aitor Karanka's second-placed side

What a difference a few days can make in the life of a football club.

A week ago, Nottingham Forest were in mid-table obscurity after a start to the season boasting just one victory in the league – against Championship whipping boys Rotherham, no less.

Fast-forward and things are looking a lot rosier for Forest and boss Dougie Freedman.

They say victories come like buses – you wait ages for one and then two come along at once.

Well, that couldn’t be truer for Forest’s away form.

Three points against QPR were Forest’s first on the road since February and four days later it was two away wins in a row as Dexter Blackstock bagged the only goal of the game to down Birmingham City.

This weekend sees a different challenge for Freedman’s men, though.

Middlesbrough are the visitors to the City Ground and, while Forest ran out 2-1 winners in this corresponding fixture back in March, Boro look a different beast from the one that agonisingly missed out on promotion to the Premier League.

Last season’s beaten play-off finalists have strung together a row of wins that shows they’re hungry to go one better this year – the latest of which came against Brentford on Tuesday.

The 3-1 result may have made the game seem slightly closer than it was, but save for some poor finishing and missed chances, Aitor Karanka’s side could easily have scored eight.

Boro’s man of the moment is arguably Christian Stuani, who bagged a brace against Brentford to take his tally to five goals in his last four games.

And it is little surprise that he is 5/1 to score the first goal on Saturday.

That is not to say Boro are over-reliant on the Uruguayan, however.

The Teesiders have had seven different goalscorers in the league, so don’t be surprised to see Dave Nugent (6/4 to score anytime), Diego Fabbrini (3/1), Stewart Downing (4/1) or Kike Martinez (6/4) get on the scoresheet.

Forest will be wary of that threat and, while Blackstock (15/2 to score first, 11/4 to score anytime) appears to be their only real outlet for goals, it looks like it will be a case of building from the back for Freedman.

His side have one of the better defensive records in the Championship so far – conceding just six times – so this one looks like it could be a fairly low-scoring affair.

You can get 5/2 if you think there will be a total of two goals in the match, while under 1.5 goals is a tempting 2/1.

And while it is too early in the campaign to have a major effect on how the season pans out, Saturday’s clash will certainly act as a barometer to see just the sort of year in store for these two sides.

Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough betting

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