Nottingham Forest will be keen to get back to winning ways tonight, as the Reds prepare to take on Fulham at the City Ground.
Forest suffered a late blow against arch rivals Derby County at the weekend, with Chris Martin bundling home a 97th minute equaliser for the Rams, salvaging a late point in a 1-1 draw.
Sabri Lamouchi’s side have been unbeaten since the season’s restart, but every goal they have conceded has come in stoppage time, throwing away four vital points against Sheffield Wednesday and now Derby.
QUIZ: How much do you remember about Nottm Forest and Fulham’s clash earlier this season – Can you score 8/8?
Lamouchi, then, will be hoping for better things tonight, as Forest look to take on a huge top-six rival in the form of Fulham.
Fulham sit one place and two points above Forest in fourth, and will still hold aspirations of finishing in the automatic promotion places after defeating Birmingham City at the weekend.
A win for Forest would all-but confirm their place in the play-offs with four games remaining, with the Reds currently sitting seven points clear of Derby in seventh.
After a fiery local derby at the weekend, we take a look at how we expect Forest to line-up against Scott Parker’s side tonight, only three days on from that late draw at Pride Park…
As ever, Forest will need to be careful when it comes to managing their players’ fitness; tonight’s fixture is their third match in 10 days, with two more coming up in the space of a week.
Lamouchi is yet to make wholesale changes to his side since the season’s restart, though, with the Frenchman making subtle changes here and there in order to keep cohesion and understanding high.
In that case, then, we’d expect the Frenchman to stick with Brice Samba in goal and stick with the same defensive line of Matty Cash, Joe Worrall, Tobias Figueiredo and Yuri Ribeiro.
Worrall gave away a foul that led to Derby’s equalising goal at the weekend, so he will be looking to right his wrongs and get back to his usual self tonight.
Moving into midfield, and we expect Forest to match Fulham’s style; playing with one holding midfielder and having two more advanced players in front.
Ben Watson should keep his place in front of the defence, and Samba Sow will start after making a long-awaited return to the team against Derby.
That final spot in midfield is up for grabs, though. Tiago Silva was left out against Derby as Lamouchi opted for a more physical, battling presence in Ryan Yates, in order to cope with the cagey derby match feel.
Against a more flamboyant and creative team in Fulham, though, Silva is likely to be reintroduced to the side, completing a midfield trio of himself, Sow and Watson.
Moving into attack and Lewis Grabban will want to score his 20th goal of the season tonight, and should start for the Reds two years after joining from AFC Bournemouth.
Out wide, Lamouchi has another headache, with Nuno da Costa performing really well against Derby in what was his full debut for Forest since joining from Strasbourg in January.
Joe Lolley was a constant threat against the Rams and should keep his place in the team after scoring a fantastic long-range effort, but the left-hand side is up for debate.
Whilst da Costa looked really sharp against the Rams, Sammy Ameobi is likely to return to the team after being rested at the weekend, with Lamouchi likely to go with his strongest team on paper.