Steve Cooper’s side lost 2-0 against Tottenham Hotspur at the City Ground last weekend and had just two days to prepare for their trip to Manchester to face the champions.
Pep Guardiola’s side have won three and drawn one of their opening four fixtures and will be looking to maintain their title push with a resounding win against the Reds on Wednesday night, but Forest will be looking to cause an upset and could do so by unleashing new signing Renan Lodi from the start.
The Brazilian joined on loan from Atletico Madrid last weekend, with an option to buy for £25m, and looks set to compete with Harry Toffolo for the starting spot at left-back for the remainder of the Premier League season.
Lodi was linked with Manchester City in the past and brings Champions League pedigree with him to the City Ground, so where better to hand him his first minutes in a Forest shirt than at the home of the champions?
The 24-year-old has spent the last three seasons with Atletico Madrid, making 118 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side, in which he has contributed six goals and ten assists, showing immense strength in the final third.
Simeone is a master of defensive-minded football, which is the way Forest will have to go on Wednesday night if they are to take anything from City, and therefore Lodi is well-practised in the art of defending, with journalist Sam Leveridge dubbing Lodi the “hero” for Atletico Madrid last term.
While Toffolo hasn’t done too much wrong in his time at Forest thus far, the former Huddersfield man has spent the majority of his career in the lower leagues of English football, and defending against the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva is a serious step up.
However, if he can prevent City’s elite players from gaining an advantage, he could well come back to haunt a team he may well have been turning out for if the transfer window had gone differently.
Therefore Cooper should put his faith in Lodi, as he has far more top-flight experience, and with the right defensive mindset on Wednesday evening, there is no reason why Forest can’t give the Citizens and Guardiola a scare.