It’s D-Day for Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening, as the Championship outfit take on Scott Parker’s Bournemouth side in what could prove to be a pivotal encounter as to who secures that much craved automatic promotion spot.
With Fulham having already wrapped up the title – and with the bottom three already confirmed – all that is left now is to determine who will make the four play-off spots and who will be joining the Cottagers in the Premier League.
In what is the penultimate game of the campaign for both sides, Forest will be looking to close the three-point gap on their promotion rivals with victory at the Vitality Stadium, as they look to extend their current four-game winning run in the league.
Ahead of that mouthwatering meeting, here’s how the Football FanCast predicts manager Steve Cooper will line his side up…
Barring any late injury concerns, it is likely that the Forest boss will refrain from any significant alterations from the side that thrashed his former club Swansea City at the weekend, although we have predicted there will be one change from that crushing 5-1 victory.
The defensive unit – which has the best record in the division with regards to goals conceded (38) – is set to remain the same, with the back three of Joe Worrall, Scott McKenna and former Cherries’ skipper Steve Cook lining up ahead of ‘keeper Brice Samba.
In midfield, reported Premier League target Djed Spence and former Newcastle United man Jack Colback will retain their places on the right and left flank, respectively, while the solid midfield pairing of Ryan Yates and James Garner are unlikely to be dislodged, with the Manchester United loanee having chipped in with 12 goal contributions this season.
The only tactical tweak then could well come in attack, with 20-year-old prospect Alex Mighten – who has been dubbed “elite” by Gary Brazil – lining up alongside Brennan Johnson and Saturday’s hat-trick hero, Sam Surridge, in place of Philip Zinckernagel.
The Danish playmaker has been labelled “unbelievable” by former teammate Lyle Taylor for his form this term, although after a quiet showing last time out – for which he received just a 6.4 match rating – he should be replaced by the hungry Mighten, who bagged his first league goal of the season against Russell Martin’s men.