Nottingham Forest vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Preview: Can the Reds leapfrog their opponents by getting three points?

Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to get back to winning ways in The Championship as they travel to The City Ground to face Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon.

Nottingham Forest vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Preview: Can the Reds leapfrog their opponents by getting three points?
Nottingham Forest vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Preview: Can the Reds leapfrog their opponents by getting three points? (picture: Getty Images / Sam Bagnall - AMA)

Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to get back to winning ways in The Championship as they travel to The City Ground to face Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon.

In their last outing, Wolves equalised late on to draw 3-3 in a thrilling encounter with Lee Johnson's Bristol City. Their attacking quality was again evident at Molineux but some of their defending was very suspect at times.

As for Forest, they got back to winning ways following two consecutive defeats by beating Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light courtesy of a late goal from Daryl Murphy. It was an important three points for Mark Warburton's side and they now come into this match full of confidence. 

How they've fared so far

Wolves have been one of the most impressive sides in The Championship so far and are currently favourites to lift the trophy come next May. This has a lot to do with manager Nuno Espírito Santo who has got his team playing remarkably well considering he had no experience in English football before this season. His side is only likely to get better as the season progresses as they begin to gel even more than they already have. 

The club's hierarchy backed Espírito Santo heavily in the transfer market this summer as they signed numerous players such as Ryan Bennett, Ruben Neves, Phil Ofosu-Ayeh, Will Norris, Barry Douglas and so on. All have added something different to Wolves' squad, especially Neves who arrived in a deal worth £15 million from FC Porto. He has dominated games in midfield for Wolves so far and will be looking to do the same at The City Ground on Saturday. 

Their last outing against Bristol City highlighted both the strongest and weakest areas of their game. Leo Bonatini, Diogo Jota and Danny Batth got themselves on the scoresheet for the home side as they once again looked frightening going forward. However, they also looked suspect at the back and conceding three goals at home is unacceptable for any side. 

As for Forest, it has been a solid start to the season under the management of Warburton considering how close they were to being relegated to League One last season. They have so far managed to bounce back from any setbacks they have had and this is a good sign of their character in the early stages of this campaign. 

The Reds have so far won four of their opening seven Championship games, losing just three. This is not a bad start to the season and sees them on the verge of the play-off places. If they were to beat Wolves this Saturday, they would actually leapfrog them which would be a superb achievement at this early stage of the season. Warburton has stated that this is certainly a motive ahead of Saturday's game but was quick to point out that it is not until Christmas that the league table really begins to take shape. 

Forest may have lost their star striker Britt Assombalonga to Middlesbrough this summer, but they still have plenty of attacking talent that could cause Wolves' defence problems. Barrie McKay currently has the most assists in the division and he will be looking to have a similar impact in this game and help his side win another three points. 

Last time they met

Wolves last played Forest in The Championship in a 1-0 win at Molineux in April. Nouha Dicko's second-half goal was enough to secure all three points for the hosts and condemn Forest to yet another away defeat as they were drawn further into the relegation battle. Warburton was left frustrated as he had seen his side squander plenty of opportunities themselves. 

Wolves won on their last visit to The City Ground. (picture: Getty Images / Sam Bagnall - AMA)
Wolves won on their last visit to The City Ground. (picture: Getty Images / Sam Bagnall - AMA)

Wolves also got the better of Forest on their last visit to The City Ground in last December as they claimed a 2-0 win. Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro got themselves on the scoresheet and piled the pressure onto Forest manager Philippe Montanier. Wolves supporters would certainly take a similar result on Saturday afternoon. 

Team news 

Wolves are likely to field a very similar starting line-up to the one that has seen them make such a storming start to the season. Jota in particular has made a very impressive start to the season and he will be looking to add to his goal tally on Saturday afternoon against a fragile Forest defence. The likes of Ben Marshall will also be pushing for a place after impressing after coming on as a substitute in midweek. 

Warburton revealed last week that the likes of David Vaughan, Jamie Ward and Matty Cash were all back training. However, it is unlikely that any of them will be back for this match. 

The Forest boss may decide to make a number of changes with a match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup coming up next week meaning the squad will have to be utilised. He certainly has plenty of options to call upon with the likes of Tyler Walker, Apostolos Vellios and Mustapha Carayol all yet to feature much this season. 

Championship