Nottingham Forest host Brentford on Saturday as they look to extend their unbeaten to ten Championship games.
They currently sit fourth in the table after picking up four points on the road from two matches, but now they’re back at the City Ground they will look to exert their dominance over a very inconsistent Brentford side.
However, the Bees are unbeaten in three themselves and the form of Ollie Watkins poses a danger to the Forest backline, with the 22-year-old scoring a hat-trick against Barnsley last weekend.
Forest have looked solid in defence this season with only nine goals conceded in ten league games, even though captain Michael Dawson is currently out injured.
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His replacement, Tobias Figueiredo, slotted in very well alongside Joe Worrall, who has also impressed recently, against Blackburn and will once again be valuable to his side picking up points.
Sabri Lamouchi has utilised his squad well in Forest’s unbeaten streak, but a familiar line-up against Brentford is quite likely to yield all three points.
Here is how the Frenchman’s side could line up on Saturday.
The recall of Joao Carvalho is the notable change, and his inclusion could provide a spark that Forest occasionally lack going forward – they relied on a superb strike from Joe Lolley to earn a point at Ewood Park.
So far he has not reached the standards he set last season, when he averaged 1.2 key passes per game and 1.4 successful dribbles, but he does have an assist and if he can find space he could unlock a rigid Bees defence that has conceded only eight goals.
One factor which has made Forest so dangerous is their varied multi-faceted attack, even offering a threat from deep with Matty Cash scoring one and assisting two.
Yuri Ribeiro has also provided quality service with an average of two key passes per game so far, a factor which makes him deserving of a start ahead of Jack Robinson, who by contrast hasn’t managed a key pass in any of his last three matches.
In the middle of the park, Samba Sow and Ben Watson’s consistency has been key, with 82% and 81% pass accuracy respectively.
Perhaps more importantly, they have made more interceptions than anyone in the squad. That will be key to cutting out the service to Watkins, and if they manage that they could even sit top of the table by the end of the day.