This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Nottingham Forest will be keen to record a third successive league win this weekend, as they prepare to take on AFC Bournemouth at the City Ground.
The Reds defeated Wycombe Wanderers 3-0 at the weekend, with Glenn Murray marking his full Forest debut with a brace.
The 37-year-old will now be keen to cement his place in the side and keep on scoring, after coming into the team ahead of the injured Lewis Grabban.
Murray certainly took his chance on Saturday in Grabban’s absence, so should the striker be at the forefront of Chris Hughton’s plans going forward?
Here, we discuss who should start this weekend…
I don’t think there’s a selection dilemma here – Murray should keep his place even if Grabban has recovered from his injury.
Grabban may be one of Forest’s leaders, but he’s not a guaranteed started when he’s fit and on the strength of his brace away at Wycombe Wanderers, Murray should be the first name on Chris Hughton’s team sheet.
Hughton could of course switch his system to a 4-4-2 and partner Murray with one of Grabban or Lyle Taylor, however the 4-2-3-1 seemed to work against the Chairboys with creative players like Filip Krovinovic and Anthony Knockaert in behind, so it wouldn’t be wise to change a winning formula.
If this was a midweek game off the back of a Saturday afternoon fixture you’d probably consider bringing Murray off the bench due to his age – but with a full week between the two matches Murray simply has to start against his former club.
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I think he probably should be given the nod once again when you consider the circumstances here.
Given the impact he made against Wycombe at the weekend with that brace, you do feel as though it would be hard for Hughton, or any manager for that matter, to leave him out of the side for that next game.
If they were to do that, then it is possible that having endured such a frustrating first half of the season in terms of game time at Watford, Murray is not got to be entirely happy with dropping back to the bench against Bournemouth, given he has already produced a reminder of just what he can do.
Indeed, when you consider the fact that he has had a full week to recover after his efforts at Wycombe, there shouldn’t be too may concerns about the veteran striker being fit enough to start again in this one, meaning it is hard to see a reason not to put him in from the start again, considering the impact he has demonstrated he can provide for Hughton’s men.