Nottm Forest V Crystal Palace at The City Ground : Match Preview

28 December 2012 12:31
Nottm Forest V Crystal Palace - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Ayala in frame for McLeish bow

On-loan defender Daniel Ayala comes back into the reckoning as Alex McLeish takes charge of Nottingham Forest for the first time against Crystal Palace.

The Norwich centre-half was suspended for the 4-2 home victory over Leeds on Boxing Day - Sean O'Driscoll's final match as manager.

Former Aston Villa and Birmingham boss McLeish - installed as O'Driscoll's successor the following day - started work on Friday and will oversee his new side's second successive match at the City Ground.

The Scot will be without on-loan Chelsea defender Sam Hutchinson (knee) and borrowed Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas (calf).

Victory for Forest combined with favourable results elsewhere would see them finish 2012 in a npower Championship play-off spot.M

Danny Gabbidon will continue to deputise for the suspended Damien Delaney as Crystal Palace look to end their four-match winless run.

Delaney serves the second game of his three-match ban following his dismissal against Huddersfield and Welshman Gabbidon, who made his full debut in the defeat to Cardiff, will retain his place in defence.

Ian Holloway's side have won only once in their last seven games and that poor run of form could force the Eagles boss to make changes.

He will once more be without the injured Paddy McCarthy, who remains sidelined with a groin injury.

Midfielder Jonny Williams (groin) was an unused substitute against the Bluebirds but will be one of those eyeing a starting berth.

The game is subject to a 9.30am pitch inspection.

Source: PA