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3 Nottingham Forest selection dilemmas Chris Hughton has ahead of Cardiff City clash

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Nottingham Forest return to league action with a home clash against Cardiff City on Sunday afternoon.

The Reds have endured a tough start to the Championship campaign, picking up only one point from their opening five league games.

The club had a productive end to the transfer window, though, with five players arriving in the dying embers of the month and adding new options to the squad.

This weekend, Hughton will be hopeful that an influx of a new players can help Forest pick up their first win of the season as Cardiff City travel to the City Ground.

Following the arrival of so many new players, it will be interesting to see what sort of team Hughton names on Sunday afternoon. Here, we take a look at three selection dilemmas he has…

Who starts at right-back?

The right-back position at Forest is a really interesting one, with Hughton going from having not many options to having many options.

Jordan Gabriel was sold to Blackpool on Deadline Day, whilst Carl Jenkinson is out of favour and Fin Back is still learning his trade.

But three right-backs arrived at the City Ground over the course of the summer. Jordi Osei-Tutu joined on loan from Arsenal, but he had to fill in at left-back before injuring his hamstring.

On Deadline Day, Mohamed Drager arrived from Olympiacos, and the club also beat the deadline to bring in Djed Spence on loan from Middlesbrough.

That leaves us with the question – who will start at right-back this weekend, with so many options now to choose from?

Change of system? 

Soccer – England – Carabao Cup Second Round – Nottingham Forest v Wolverhampton Wanderers – The City Ground, Nottingham, Britain – August 24, 2021 Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

The surprise arrival of free agent Rodrigo Ely raised a number of questions from Forest fans, with many predicting a potential change in formation for the Reds.

Ely was let go by Huesca at the end of last season, and adds another option at centre-half for the Reds, which didn’t really feel like a priority in the window.

Forest kept hold of Joe Worrall, and still have Scott McKenna, Loic Mbe Soh and Tobias Figueiredo at the club and on the books.

Could Ely’s arrival, then, hint at a potential change to a three-at-the-back system? If so, could that be put into practice this weekend, as Hughton looks to change his side’s fortunes?

Who starts up top?

Forest were among the lowest scorers in the Championship last season, with only Derby County scoring fewer goals.

There still seems to be a lack of goal threat in the side, though, with Lyle Taylor failing to score since opening day, and Lewis Grabban yet to open his account for the season.

After failing to bring in an out-and-out striker in the window, it remains to be seen who will be their first-choice striker going forward.

Xande Silva was brought in from West Ham, but he is a versatile option who can play either through the middle or primarily out wide.

The Athletic have suggested that Forest could use Johnson in a false nine role and convert him into more of a striker, but that, at the moment, isn’t a natural role for him.

It’s arguably the most important position in football, and Forest need to get it right if they are to start climbing the table.


Nottingham-based journalist who regularly covers Nottingham Forest home and away.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 Nottingham Forest selection dilemmas Chris Hughton has ahead of Cardiff City clash

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