Nottingham Forest kick started their festive fixtures in impressive fashion, defeating Leeds United 4-2 in front of the Sky cameras on Boxing Day. However fans excitement soon turned into shock when manager Sean O'Driscoll was relieved of his duties only a matter of hours after the victory, despite only five months in charge and the club only one point adrift of a play-off place. Just over 24 hours later and the owners made their new appointment as Alex McLeish came as the new gaffer at the City Ground.
Collecting 36 points from 24 games so far this season, Forest have always been in-or-around the top half of the table come the end of the season, although they failed to win more than twice in a row under O'Driscoll. The two clubs met in September at Selhurst Park, with a share of the spoils after Dexter Blackstock joined KG on the scoresheet with a late goal to secure a draw for the ten-men.
Forest, who have won their last two home matches, are a long way ahead of last season's 19th place finish.
Nottingham Forest could welcome back defender Daniel Ayala after he missed the defeat of Leeds due to suspension. Strikers Billy Sharp and Dexter Blackstock could keep their partnership up-front following an impressive performance on Boxing Day. Sam Hutchinson (knee) and Jermaine Jenas (calf) are still missing despite returning to training,
Crystal Palace will still be without out Damien Delaney following his red card against Huddersfield last Saturday so Danny Gabbidon is set to partner Peter Ramage at the heart of the defence. Joel Ward remain out after missing the Boxing Day match at Cardiff with a groin injury. The Eagles welcomed back youngster Jon Williams to the bench in the Boxing Day defeat against Cardiff and he will hope to make the squad again after a lengthy spell out with injury.
Referee: Mark Haywood
Assistants: Rob Hyde and Ryan Johnson
Fourth Official: Robert Atkin
Head to Head Record: (Home and Away):
Nottingham Wins Draws Palace Wins
League 23 13 13
League Cup 3 3 0
FA Cup 1 2 3
Total 27 18 16
Adults £25.00, Concessions £18.00, U18 £12.00 and U12 £6.00. Please note adults and concessions increase by £2.00 on matchday.
Club coach travel leaves at 09.30am, with the prices at £19.00 for season ticket holders/members and £21.00 for guests.
With Crystal Palace hoping to put their dip in form behind them and enter 2013 on a high, why not try a few of our betting punts and increase your finances for the new year. Some of our tips are:
Palace to win 3-2 is 31/1
Draw at half time and Palace to win at full time is 7-1.
CLICK HERE for further odds from Bet Butler
Live Match Commentary:
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