This match has been billed in some quarters as something of a last chance saloon for the Foxes. With just two wins in 10 matches, some might be moved to comment that this ‘last chance’ scenario has existed for weeks. But now the final dregs of that pint Leicester have been hesitantly sipping at since March have all but evaporated in the sunshine. Win and the Foxes are still in with an outside chance. Lose and we can all start looking for something else to do over the last May Bank Holiday weekend.
Leicester fans with long memories would have picked almost any other venue for this match if given the choice. The Foxes haven’t won a league game against Forest at the City ground since 1972. That was also the last season in which Leicester did the double over their local rivals. The Foxes have never completed league doubles over Derby County and Nottingham Forest in the same season.
But Forest’s form, much like City’s, has taken a horrible nosedive since late February. Billy Davies’ side have won just once in the last 11. Since 22nd February only Sheffield Utd (6) have won fewer Championship points than Forest (7).
Reading and Hull have taken maximum points at the City Ground on recent visits. If Leicester are to repeat that they will need to rectify the shoddy defensive performance which cost them any hope of a result at Reading. The Foxes have now conceded 63 league goals this season. The last side to make the playoffs having conceded more were Ipswich Town (72) seven seasons ago.
Perhaps the best reason to be optimistic is Sven’s record against Championship teams at the second time of asking. Whilst the Swede has won eight, drawn five and lost ten of the first encounters, his record of seven wins and two draws in reverse fixtures against the same opponents is formidable.
No Championship manager has beaten Sven at the second attempt – yet.