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Match preview: Forest v Norwich

A clash for the ages or like two drunk babies punching each other? In The Top One spoke to Norwich blogger Daniel Brigham about the clash between two sides in horrendous form on Saturday...

Jamie McDonald

So, Saturday. Or as it will be billed: the Battle Of Who Can Be The Least Horrible. This is going to be like two drunk babies punching each other, isn't it? Or perhaps trying to punch each other, but missing.

It reminds me of this one time at school when the two meekest boys in my friendship group - me being one of them - were made to have a fight to find out who was the biggest loser. After an entire lunch break of hair-pulling, gentle punches and mainly rolling around on the floor like a fully clothed version of Oliver Reed and Rupert Bates in Women In Love, it was declared a draw. You couldn't choose between us: we were both crowned the biggest losers.

A fitting shambles. In the interests of chaos hopefully Stuart Pearce will pick a defender in midfield and a winger up front again, like he did in the shambles against Brentford on Wednesday. Of course, in the interests of our sanity I really, really hope he doesn't. This is the sort of thing I was afraid of - he's trying 'things', and while we're not quite on the level of sticking David James up front, it's on the same path. What's Neil Adams doing wrong?

Perhaps someone should've reminded the Forest board of David James's outfield appearance before appointing Pearce. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what Neil Adams is doing wrong, but he has to get things right - most Norwich fans, ranging from the sensible to the deranged, are becoming increasingly unhappy with him. He's played strikers on the left wing all season, has insisted on playing a right back in the centre of  defence, has shown an over reliance on moving the ball out slowly to Nathan Redmond on the right, and is no closer to knowing his preferred starting XI or formation than he was at the start of the season. Still, it's not all doom and gloom, is it? Norwich are only four points off the top and Forest just four further behind...

Yes! Positives! Erm, our kit is good this year. And we've got a couple of players scoring goals, although Britt Assombalonga seems to have given up on that particular wheeze recently. If your right-back is a little on the sluggish side though, Michail Antonio should have some fun.

Our kit is also nice! I was tempted to buy it, before reminding myself that I'm 32. I imagine our right back who has been playing in central defence - Russell Martin - will return to right back on Saturday because our other right back, Steven Whittaker, has started playing football like a cat trying to swim. We've also badly missed the injured Wes Hoolahan recently while his replacement to play in the hole, the highly-rated Belgian Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, started off a bit too round to actually fit in the hole and then, on slimming down, injured himself on his first-team debut. So we're short of creativity in the middle. Or anywhere, really. There we go, back to the negatives...

I confess I have our away kit, but in my defence a) it was a present (that I asked for) and b) I only wear it to play sport in. Can also confirm that it's made of that material that goes see-through upon being touched by a drop of sweat. On Olivier Giroud that could be quite alluring, but on a burly and hairy man who sweats flamboyantly, not so much. If we're trying to concentrate on the positives, Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe is a magnificent name. Has Kyle Lafferty been the scourge of Norfolk's womenfolk?

There is nothing more magnificent than a magnificent name pronounced magnificently in a Norfolk accent. Hoolahan, who has been at Norwich since 2008, is still called Hooly-han by most fans. Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe is called V.O.O, which makes him sound like a sexual infection and brings us neatly on to Kyle Lafferty. He's been forced out onto the left for us, where he has mainly picked up bookings and not scored, so I can only imagine how he takes his frustrations out on a Saturday night. How much longer has Pearce got? As a kid I loved him but, like a cool uncle who turns out to be a primitive pillock, I now take a lot of pleasure in seeing him fail.

If it was up to the (less hysterical) fans he'd probably stay for the rest of the season, but our owner has, shall we say, a pretty itchy trigger finger, and he might start listening to the more hysterical fans. He'll probably get longer than your average Joe in a similar position though, simply because of who he is. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is open to interpretation. We'll all cry salt tears if he turns out to be terrible, which is exactly why I didn't want him in the first place. Never meet your heroes, never have them as your manager.

That's fairly sensible to stick with him, isn't it? Not too many pundits were tipping Forest for automatic promotion so the outstanding start (against relatively weak opposition?) probably put a gloss on things that, in the long run, hasn't really helped Pearce. Adams faces a different type of pressure - he is in charge of what is probably the best squad in the division and is therefore expected to take us straight back up. That's quite an ask for someone who has never previously managed a senior team at any level. A lot of Norwich fans are already billing Saturday's game as a must-win because of Forest's horrible run, which, with Norwich only four points off the top, shows you the kind of pressure Adams is already under.

It is fairly sensible, the only caveat being that if he genuinely has no clue, then we'd be sticking with a rubbish manager for emotional reasons. Which obviously can work the other way. I wasn't really clear on what the logic of appointing Adams in the first place was. Unless Delia saw the unpleasantness that Malky Mackay was about to get himself into and went for the non-racist alternative, of course.

Yes, dodged a big, racist, nasty bullet with Mackay. He was one of four interviewed for the job - alongside Adams, Gianfranco Zola and Oscar Garcia. I believe Mackay's meat-and-veg style of football was seen as too close to Chris Hughton's, while Zola and Garcia were seen as risks. Choosing Adams was also a risk, but he had success with the youth teams - winning the FA Youth Cup in 2013 - and I think Delia saw the chance to establish a bit of longevity at the club. As we found to our cost with Hughton, Delia has the opposite of an itchy finger (her fingers are usually too busy nestling themselves around a half-time Gin and Tonic). So, whatever the results from now on, Adams will probably be at Carrow Road for the long term.

OK, let's do a prediction. I reckon a big-scoring draw, at least 2-2 with high comedy and slapstick at either end.

If either team scores early then I think it could be carnage but, if the game gets to the half-hour mark with no goals then it'll be a sludgy, panicky, forgettable 0-0. I'm trying to remain positive though, so I say Norwich will score early and go on to win 3-0.

Daniel Brigham is a cricket writer and editor who blogs about Norwich City. You can follow him on Twitter here...