The Chalkboard: Martin O’Neill’s striker conundrum for visit of Aston Villa

Nottingham Forest manager Martin O’Neill confirmed in his Aston Villa pre-match press conference that he expects to be without top goalscorer Lewis Grabban again on Wednesday, and it leaves him with a big striker conundrum.

On the chalkboard

Following a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Hull City on Saturday, you would think that O’Neill wouldn’t be thinking about making too many changes for the visit of the Dean Smith’s men.

However, the likes of Joao Carvalho and Karim Ansarifard pushed themselves into contention with goalscoring contributions from the substitutes’ bench against The Tigers, and the 66-year-old has a decision to make.

Daryl Murphy isn’t performing right now and doesn’t look likely to get a goal, while Leo Bonatini looked rusty on a rare start at the weekend following his January arrival on loan from Wolves.

Stick or twist?

That is the major call the former Republic of Ireland boss needs to make.

Check out Max’s verdict on Forest’s impressive 3-0 win over Hull in the video below…

Does he stick with two strikers, who are out-of-form if truth be told, on the pitch for what is a tough-looking clash against a Villa side with successive wins and clean sheets, or make changes?

Even if he drops one of the strikers it would allow either Carvalho or Ansarifard to come in and provide the remaining centre-forward and Joe Lolley with some much-needed support, and that seems like the best option.

Kortney Hause and Tyrone Mings proved that they are adept to dealing with height against Birmingham City given how well they dealt with Lukas Jutkiewicz at the weekend, and more tricky players could be the order of the day on Wednesday to pick up a much-needed three points.