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Who will come out on top in the promotion shoot-out? AFCB or Forest?

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Written by billythekid

Battle Lines For Second place: The Return Of Steve Cook

After a very important win at Blackburn scoring 3 goals and keeping a clean sheet, AFCB now have two home games to finish the season. They start off with a battle for second place against Nottingham Forest, they are in third place and 3 points behind the Cherries. The game is live on Sky at an earlier time for an evening game, starting at 7 pm on Tuesday. The game was originally set to be played in February but was postponed because of damage from storm Eunice.

This game will see the welcome return of our old captain Steve Cook, even if he is in an opposition shirt. He joined our club on loan in October 2011 & permanently on the 4th of January 2012. He went on that great run with our club up into the Premier League in his 10 years at our club. He left AFCB on the 4th of January 2022 to join Nottingham Forest.

After a very poor start to the season under their manager Chris Houghton, Forest lost their first four games, including our away game which was the fourth straight defeat. They then drew away at Derby, but lost their next two, the second defeat being at home against Middlesbrough. That was the end of Chris Houghton’s time at Nottingham Forest, he had been there from 6th October 2020 until 16th September 2021.

He was replaced by the former Swansea City manager Steve Cooper. Cooper after being in charge of the Swans for two seasons decided to call it a day and left at the end of last season after the Welsh club had lost out for a second season in a row to Brentford in the play-offs. The first season was the semi-final and last season was the final.

Cooper took over on the 21st September, this was after Forest won the next game after Hughton’s departure under caretaker manager Steven Reid away at Huddersfield. Steve Cooper’s first game was at home against Millwall, it finished in a 1-1 draw. He then saw his side win four of their next games, three away from home, he had steadied the ship and was now steering it away into calmer waters. Cooper has certainly transformed his new club.

In their away games since he took charge, they have W 9, D 5, L 3. Their last away game was against already promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage, Forest won 0-1. Nottingham Forest’s most recent game was at home against Swansea City, Forest won 5-1. In their last six away matches Forest have W 3, D 2, L 1. Goals F 7, A 3.

AFCB in their last six home games have W 2, D 4. Goals F 8, A 5.

The last time AFCB met Forest at Dean Court was the November of last season, AFCB winning 2-0. The goals came from Junior Stanislas putting away a pass from David Brooks in the 3rd minute and in the second half, Stanislas scored his second from the penalty spot after Dominic Solanke was fouled.

In all our home league games against Forest, AFCB have W 5,D 1, L 2.
In all league games (no cup games), AFCB have W 6, D 5, L 6.

AFCB v Nottm Forest

AFCB Win

AFCB Win

Draw

Draw

Nottm Forest Win

Nottm Forest Win

AFCB Team News
No new news of any new injuries, Jordan Zemura was limping near to the end of the Blackburn game but finished the game, so hopefully a bit of cramp after being out injured for a while.

AFCB Player To Watch
Dominic Solanke has scored 5 goals in his last 4 games and now has scored 29 league goals and will be looking to get to 30 before the end of the season. Philip Billing was involved in all 3 goals at Blackburn, scoring 2 goals, plus an assist for Dominic Solanke and was the MOM. Kieffer Moore could be an important player for us some time on Tuesday night, just as he was in our game at Swansea. He was not needed at Blackburn, so has had a bit of a break between games.

Nottingham Forest Team News
On the injury front, they are without Lewis Grabban, Loic Mbe Soh and Max Lowe.
In the January transfer window, they brought in Steve Cook and Sam Surridge both ex AFCB players. Defenders Richie Laryea from Toronto FC and Jonathan Panzo from Dijon. On-loan forward Keenan Davis from Aston Villa who after having 14 starts scoring 5 goals, is also out injured for the rest of the season.

Nottingham Forest Player To Watch
Brennan Johnson, the leading scorer with 15 goals this season and leads with 10 assists. James Garner has 8 assists including 4 in his last 6 games, with 2 in his last game. Also ex AFCB pair Steve Cook and Sam Surridge who scored a hat-trick against Swansea City on Saturday.

The Referee
Stuart Atwell who usually takes Premier League games is the man in charge.
We had him in our last season in the top league for four games, three against London clubs.
Home against West Ham, Arsenal and Crystal Palace. Away at Leicester.

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