Nottingham Forest will be hoping to record their first win of the 2020/21 campaign tomorrow afternoon as they prepare to take on Cardiff City at the City Ground.
It has been a disappointing start to the season for the Reds, who crashed out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of Barnsley last weekend.
The Reds also suffered defeat on the opening day of the Championship campaign last weekend, with Queens Park Rangers condemning them to a 2-0 defeat in West London.
Quiz: 6 of these Nottingham Forest facts are false – Can you identify them?
The pressure is starting to slowly build on Sabri Lamouchi, with reports from The Athletic recently claiming that the Frenchman is running out of time to right Forest’s wrongs from last season.
This weekend, Cardiff City travel to the City Ground, with Neil Harris’ side also enduring a disappointing start to the season, losing 2-0 to Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.
It promises to be a good game between two sides who were fighting for a play-off place for large parts of last season, and here, we take a look at how Lamouchi’s side could line-up tomorrow…
Lamouchi has this week bolstered his goalkeeping options with the arrival of Abdoulaye Diallo, and the Senegalese international will look to provide competition for Brice Samba in-between the sticks.
Lamouchi has recently come out and insisted that Samba is still Forest’s first-choice shot-stopper, though, and he should start against Cardiff this weekend.
Forest could be set to make their ninth signing of the summer this week, with Fulham defender Cyrus Christie reportedly set to go undergo a medical ahead of a loan move to the City Ground.
If Forest do manage to acquire Christie’s signature before the weekend, then it’s doubtful that he will be fit and available to play, so it could be one last chance for Jordan Gabriel to prove his worth.
In central defence, Forest have plenty of options to choose from. Loic Mbe Soh has recently arrived from PSG, and Tobias Figueiredo will be looking to improve after a poor display last week.
Whilst Tyler Blackett looked solid at left-back last weekend, the Reds missed Yuri Ribeiro’s pace and creativity down the left-hand side, and Lamouchi admitted it could have been the “wrong choice” to omit him.
Moving into midfield, and it is likely that the same midfield duo of Jack Colback and Ryan Yates will start. With Forest holding an interest in Harry Arter, the pair will be keen to impress.
Luke Freeman looked bright in the win over QPR, and he has now seemingly established himself as Forest’s first-choice attacking midfielder, after Joao Carvalho was left out of the squad last week.
Nuno da Costa, meanwhile, has struggled to make an impact out wide, and as soon as Sammy Ameobi came on last week, the Reds looked far more direct and threatening down the left flank.
Ameobi’s powering runs and link-up play presented Lewis Grabban with two big chances near the end of the game, and he should start this weekend with Joe Lolley on the other flank.
Up top, Grabban was guilty of missing two glorious opportunities last weekend, and on another day, last season’s top goalscorer could have won the game for Lamouchi’s side.
Unlike last season, Grabban will know that he has to be at his best, with Lyle Taylor waiting in the wings to make his full debut for the Reds.