Forest have woeful play-off record and must bounce back at in-form Sheff United
Sheffield United will host Nottingham Forest in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final this weekend.
Forest could only managed a draw at Hull on the final day of the season and had to settle for a fourth place finish.
Steve Cooper’s side only took one point from their last two games as they missed out on automatic promotion and must now pick themselves up.
United, meanwhile, are in fine form going into the play-offs and smashed champions Fulham 4-0 at Bramall Lane last time out.
These two drew 1-1 twice in the regular season and will now battle it out to reach the showpiece Championship play-off final at Wembley on May 29.
This Championship play-off semi-final first leg will take place on Saturday, May 14.
talkSPORT 2 will have exclusive coverage of the game at Bramall Lane which will kick off at 3pm.
Dan Windle will be your host and commentary will come from Ian Danter and former Scotland striker Chris Iwelumo.
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Sheffield United v Nottingham Forest: What has been said?
Forest boss Steve Cooper: “The league position and points tally is the highest it has been for a long time, we go into these play-offs in a really good place and we look forward to the games against Sheffield United.
“You look at the teams who haven’t made the play-offs, it shows how good the lads have been.
“There’s no doubt that there has been a brilliant effort from the players. To try and get automatic promotion with two games to go tells you how we’ve become a really good team.
“We’ve got everything we need to go and do well in the play-offs, we’ve just got to make sure we back ourselves and believe in what we do. We’ll be ready for it.”
• Nottingham Forest have won just one of their eight matches in the Football League play-offs (D2 L5), never reaching the final in any of their previous four attempts (2002-03, 2006-07, 2009-10, 2010-11).
• This is Sheffield United’s fifth appearance in the second tier play-offs, with the Blades reaching the final on three of the four previous occasions (1996-97, 2002-03 and 2008-09), though they have never won promotion via this method before.
• This is the second time Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest are meeting in the second tier play-offs, with the Blades winning 5-4 on aggregate in 2002-03 (1-1 away, 4-3 at home).
• Sheffield United are unbeaten in their last eight home meetings with Nottingham Forest in all competitions (W3 D5), since a 2-1 loss in April 2004.
• Both league meetings between Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest this season ended 1-1, with Forest netting late equalisers in both games (83rd and 90th minute respectively).
• Brennan Johnson finished the league campaign with 16 goals and 10 assists – one of five players in the division to reach double figures for both – whilst being the first Nottingham Forest player to manage this in a second-tier season since Joe Lolley in 2018-19.
• Iliman Ndiaye scored in each of Sheffield United’s last three league games in the regular season. The last player to score in four consecutive appearances for the Blades in all competitions was David McGoldrick in January 2019.
• The team finishing fifth has only won the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final once in the last nine campaigns (D3 L5), with Aston Villa beating West Bromwich Albion in 2018-19.