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The Nottingham Forest dilemmas facing Steve Cooper ahead of Sheffield United play-off clash

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Nottingham Forest travel to Bramall Lane this afternoon for the first leg of their play-off semi final against Sheffield United.

The Reds only picked up one point from their final two games of the league season, slipping to fourth place on the last day due to a second half additional time finish by Keane Lewis-Potter.

Steve Cooper’s men, not too dissimilar to the Blades, have been on a remarkable journey since changing manager in the first half of the season, and are favourites to win promotion as a result.

Djed Spence and Brennan Johnson hold their biggest threat down the right flank, while Sam Surridge, Philip Zinckernagel, Ryan Yates and James Garner also hold a palpable goal threat.

Here, we have taken a look at two dilemmas facing Cooper ahead of the Blades clash…

How to silence the home crowd

The Blades have been devastating at home in patches since the turn of the year and dispatched Fulham to a 4-0 scoreline on the final game to book their spot in the top six.

Paul Heckingbottom’s men also flew out of the blocks to beat Middlesbrough 4-1 earlier this year and will be planning on something similar against the Reds.

Sander Berge is a very interesting player in a fluid attacking role under Heckingbottom that Cooper will have to plan for, or the Blades could put themselves in a commanding position in the tie.

Quiz: 24 facts every Nottingham Forest supporter should know about their club – Can you score full marks?

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What year were Forest founded?

Joe Lolley or Jack Colback

Cooper made seven changes for the trip to Hull City last weekend, with play-offs confirmed the midweek prior, and Jack Colback fell out of the squad completely.

The former Newcastle United man is thought to be fit and available for the first leg but Joe Lolley provides an interesting option at left wing back.

The 29-year-old has been a very effective Championship wideman for a few seasons now, and though he does not fit the position entirely, he would offer more going forward than Colback, who tends to recycle possession less adventurously.

The chances are that Colback starts this afternoon, but Lolley could step in to good effect at some point in the tie, if Cooper feels like Forest need to throw caution to the wind and attack the Blades.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: The Nottingham Forest dilemmas facing Steve Cooper ahead of Sheffield United play-off clash

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