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Match preview: Cardiff vs Nottingham Forest

With apologies in advance, we're not expecting a huge amount from the trip to Cardiff on Saturday. Specifically, defeat. Still, at least the TV cameras will be there to document the whole unfortunate business...

Michael Steele

Some things in football are weird. They're not right. They don't look natural. Danny Welbeck in an Arsenal shirt, for example. Gerry Francis's hair. Gunnersaurus in a ball pit.

Add Cardiff playing in red shirts to that list. This isn't the first time Forest will have visited the frankly terribly-named Cardiff City Stadium (come on chaps, have a bit of imagination – you can change the colour of the shirts but you can't think up a better name for your ground than that? You just aren't trying) in their change strip. That particular rubicon was crossed the season before last, when we very much looked like we would sneak into the playoffs after the short sharp jab in the arm provided by He Who Must Not Be Named, Spoken Of Or Thought About, Particularly If Tommy Sheridan Is Involved.

The trip to Wales in fact signalled the start of the collapse of that daydream, as after riding our luck for a few games the ten-match unbeaten run came to a clunking end thanks to some ruinous defending, a spot of Craig Bellamy brilliance and Darius Henderson reprising the scenes from a St Albans eatery. On this occasion, his claims of pre-emptive self-defence were rejected.

And there Cardiff were. Wearing red. Not blue. The Bluebirds were flagrantly ignoring at least half of their nickname, with Forest wearing that slightly odd turquoise number. It's not right, and it won't be right on Saturday, when the two sides face off agin each other, with the Sky cameras there to document the whole curious procedure.

Tomorrow is a significant game for Cardiff, if only because it represents the first game in charge for Russell Slade, following a classic will they-won't they dalliance between the former Leyton Orient boss and the club. Traditional football fan wisdom states that this, along with Slade's connections with Nottingham and his support of Forest as a lad, means that defeat is basically inevitable.

There are more logical reasons for such pessimism, mind. It feels like Forest have been pushing our luck for a few weeks now, having not won for a full month and with three goalless draws followed by Michail Antonio's rescue act against Ipswich.

Plus the injuries. We've been hanging on for a while waiting for the return of Andy Reid, so the news that he'll be out until the new year is causing much woe at ITTO. In theory Henri Lansbury should replace Reid's creativity, but he hasn't been the player he can be this term, to say the least. The good news is most other players seem to be OK – Kelvin Wilson and David Vaughan are apparently in the squad, although as we've learned from unfortunate experience that relying on the fitness of either men is a fool's game.

Trepidation ahead. Perhaps we're being miserable, but we're bracing ourselves for bad news on Saturday.