Cox to make difference in Notts Forest’s testing FA Cup trip

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After hammering West Ham 5-0 in the FA Cup Third Round, Billy Davies and Nottingham Forest will be desperate to progress past League One Preston, though they face a tough visit to Deepdale to face a side that has been hard to beat of late.

The Tricky Trees are 11/8 to claim a third win on the bounce in all competitions, though with the hosts proving difficult to break down recently, that could be no easy feat.

Preston, who remain 15/8 outsiders for victory with Ladbrokes, have conceded just one goal in their last four and successfully kept Forest at bay at the City Ground last month.

And while a draw come 90 minutes looks unlikely, despite the tempting price of 12/5, the teams could go in all square at the break.

Ladbrokes is offering 19/10 on under 0.5 total goals being scored in the first half and given the statistic that each of Preston’s last five games have been 0-0 going in at the break, it could be worth looking out for.

We still expect Forest’s class to shine through in the second half though, with the Premier League promotion chasers rediscovering their scoring touch of late with seven goals in their last two Championship fixtures.

Backing the game to be level at half time with the Reds romping to victory in the second half could therefore be one selection to side with at odds of 5/1.

It could all boil down to Davies’ team selection though and the form of striker Simon Cox.

The former Chelsea academy man has been guilty of missing a fair few chances for Forest of late, losing his starting place to makeshift striker Greg Halford in the process.

But a couple of cameo appearances that brought three goals in their last two league fixtures may have convinced the Reds manager to bring the Republic of Ireland international back into the fold.

And regardless of whether he starts or comes on, the 7/4 on Cox to score anytime certainly tempts, with Halford also 7/4 to find the net at any time.

With Cox scoring in their previous two wins, meanwhile, a 3/1 scorecast on the striker to find the net and Forest to win could be the bet of the night.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.