Nottingham Forest host bitter rivals Derby County in the early Championship game of the day as they look to close the gap on the top two.
Sabri Lamouchi’s side head into the game in good spirits, sitting fifth in the league and they ended a recent blip by winning 2-1 at Luton last time out.
Whilst some managers maybe inclined to keep faith with a winning XI, the Reds boss has a tough decision to make with skipper Michael Dawson available for today’s fixture after overcoming a calf injury.
Even though Tobias Figueiredo and Chema have done pretty well individually when they have been called upon in the past month or so, Dawson is expected to partner Joe Worrall and here we outline THREE reasons why that is the right call from Lamouchi…
The team perform better when he is involved
In the five games that the experienced centre-back missed, Forest picked up seven points and kept just one clean sheet.
That’s not a disastrous return but prior to that they had been averaging two points a game with Dawson in the side before he was injured, so it’s a pretty significant drop off.
Joe Worrall plays better alongside him
Following on from that, his defensive partner Worrall seems to look much more assured when he is alongside Dawson.
The former England international is a good communicator, a real leader and will be guiding Worrall throughout the game – someone we have to remember is still a young player.
Predict the Nottingham Forest vs Derby result
Perhaps the extra responsibility without Dawson doesn’t help the academy graduate but he seems to look a lot better with the 35-year-old.
He knows all about this fixture
Another reason for bringing back Dawson is that he gets what this east Midlands derby is all about.
Having come through the ranks at the City Ground, he recognises the importance of this fixture for the fans and whilst we’re not saying the foreign players don’t, it’s good to have local lads in games like this.
He can set the tone for the rest of the team and will be reminding everyone how vital it is that they pick up maximum points.