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West Bromwich Albion v Nottingham Forest

Forest top scorer Lewis Grabban netted his first goal as a professional at The Hawthorns, an injury-time winner for Crystal Palace in March 2007
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West Bromwich Albion have the option of naming an unchanged team for the visit of Martin O’Neill’s Nottingham Forest.

The Baggies came through Saturday’s win at Stoke unscathed and are only without winger Matt Phillips and midfielder James Morrison with ankle injuries.

Forest have defender Yohan Benalouane and midfielder Jack Colback back in contention after suspension.

Molla Wague is pushing to start after coming on to score on his debut in Saturday’s home win against Brentford.

Boss O’Neill also gave home debuts to defender Alex Milosevic and forward Leo Bonatini, while midfielder Ryan Yates made his first league start.

Full-back Tendayi Darikwa is hoping to feature after recently completing a three-game ban, but fellow defender Michael Dawson (hamstring) is still out.

Forest will start the game ninth, five points off a play-off place – and eight behind fourth-placed Albion.

Match facts

  • This is the first meeting between West Bromwich Albion and Nottingham Forest at the Hawthorns in any competition since January 2010 – a 3-1 Championship victory for Forest.
  • The Baggies last beat Nottingham Forest at The Hawthorns in a league match in November 2001, when Uwe Rosler scored the only goal in a 1-0 win.
  • After losing just three of Darren Moore’s first 21 home games in charge, Albion have now suffered back-to-back home defeats (3-2 against Middlesbrough and 3-1 after extra time to Brighton in the FA Cup.
  • Three of the Championship’s top scorers are expected to be on show, Albion pair Dwight Gayle (16) and Jay Rodriguez, who has, like Forest’s Lewis Grabban, scored 15 times.
  • Forest have lost their four away games without scoring a goal. They have not lost five consecutive away matches in all competitions since March 2010, when they lost eight in a row under Billy Davies.
  • Albion striker Jay Rodriguez has scored five league goals in five appearances against Forest.
  • Forest manager Martin O’Neill has lost his last three league games against Albion, all with Sunderland in the Premier League between February 2012 and February 2013.
  • O’Neill made his league debut for Forest in a 4-1 win over Albion at the City Ground in November 1971. He was also in the Forest team that beat the Baggies 5-1 at The Hawthorns in September 1979.
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