Nottingham Forest vs. Sunderland
The Anchor Man previews Wednesday's Carling Cup second round clash.
One North-East Premier League side failed to deliver inside 90 minutes last night, Scott Dann’s late equaliser was enough for Coventry to take Newcastle into extra-time, but it should be more straightforward for Sunderland on Wednesday. The Black Cats travel to Nottingham to take on Forest and look fairly priced at around 2.20 to see off the Championship newcomers.
Roy Keane returns to the City ground, where he began his playing career, for the first time as a manager and aside from long term absentee Kenwyne Jones has virtually a fully fit squad to choose from. Keane has stated that the starting eleven tonight will be very similar to the one that was good enough to win at White Hart Lane on Saturday, as he seeks his first cup win since taking charge, and they should have too much for the hosts.
It was well documented throughout the summer that Keane was interested in bringing in a number of players to bolster a fairly limited squad and the arrivals of Chimbonda, Malbranque, Tainio, Diouf and Cisse have added much needed quality. All bar the Finnish international, out for three weeks with a calf strain, should feature tonight and the acquisition of Cisse in particular looks excellent business. He has been drafted in on a season long loan from Marseille and at the age of 27 still has plenty to offer. 37 caps for France aren’t earned easily and his late header that provided Sunderland will all three points in North London on the weekend was the perfect start to his second stint in the Premier League. We mustn’t forget that Liverpool once plashed out £14m on the forward.
Following relegation to the third tier of English football in 2006, the future looked bleak for Nottingham Forest. The former European Cup winners have now hauled themselves back into the Championship however and should have more than enough about them to hold their own this season. Crucially they have goal scorers in the shape of Earnshaw and Tyson, which should ensure at least safety, although a fragile looking defence has conceded five in their last two matches.
Forest will need to be tighter at the back on Wednesday and give more protection to the excellent Paul Smith in goal if they are to have any chance of causing an upset but it is a tough ask and the bet has to be on an away win at the prices. Keane will demand a win to ensure the confidence gained from Saturday’s victory doesn’t evaporate immediately and I think he’ll get it.
Back Sunderland LOST
To link to this article please use the following: