Nottingham Forest’s Alfa Semedo needs to start against Barnsley

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This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

Nottingham Forest will be keen to build on the stunning result they achieved last weekend as they dethroned Swansea City from the sole lead of the Championship with a ‘snatch and grab’ late winner.

In doing so, they also kept a clean sheet against a side, who at the time, were the league’s highest scorers, so that was rather impressive in itself.

Now they face one of the sides struggling at the wrong end of the table in Barnsley at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon – the Yorkshire side are 22nd on five points.

Sabri Lamouchi will need to ensure that his side aren’t on the end of a shock this weekend.

On the Chalkboard

The Reds boss has chopped and changed his side regularly this season, utilising as many 20 players with only four of those starting every match.

For the game against Swansea, he surprisingly dropped both Joe Lolley and Jack Robinson, who rank inside the top five in the squad for average rating.

The goal came courtesy of substitute Alfa Semedo in the 85th minute after Lewis Grabban slotted him in from the by-line.

The Portuguese native started the first four games of the season in central midfield but has had to face a spot on the bench in two of his last three matches which is rather unfair considering he has done very little wrong.

After earning them with all three points on Saturday, it’s time he was handed the starting reigns once again – maybe in place of Ben Watson, who is quite a marmite figure amongst the City Ground faithful.

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The 6 foot 2 man is on loan from Benfica and it’s unlikely they will be happy if he’s not starting matches and getting valuable game time.

Barnsley are quite a physical team, ranking second for fouls per game in the league by averaging 15.7 and they also win on average 20.9 aerial duels per match too.

Semedo, therefore, should come back into midfield to help counter-balance that strength as his presence has won him 2.1 aerial duels per game while Watson has only managed 0.5.

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