Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest side will be heading into Wednesday night’s Championship clash in decent spirits, as the Reds remain unbeaten in their last two Championship fixtures – the club’s longest undefeated spell of the season.
And, with the Garibaldi’s opponents this evening, Barnsley, being without a win in seven second-tier fixtures, the 41-year-old Forest manager will undoubtedly be hoping the trip to Oakwell will provide him with his first victory since being appointed as Chris Hughton’s successor earlier this month.
So, will Cooper make any changes to the team that started in Forest’s 1-1 draw with Millwall last weekend? Here’s how we think Nottingham Forest could line up against the Tykes, along with the latest team and injury news…
With Lewis Grabban looking to be a major injury doubt for the trip to Barnsley after picking up a thigh injury against the Lions, while Jordi Osei-Tutu, Braian Ojeda, Mohamed Drager and Rodrigo Ely are also all unavailable for selection on Wednesday evening, we predict that Cooper will make just two changes to the side that started last time out.
One of these changes comes in the Welshman’s back three, with 20-year-old Loic Mbe Soh – who highly impressed in the Reds’ 2-1 loss to Coventry City back in August, before injury kept the defender sidelined for a number of weeks – taking the place of Scott McKenna, as the £2.7m-rated man has far from been in the best form of his life this season, averaging a disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.67 over his nine Championship appearances.
Elsewhere, both Max Lowe and Djed Spence keep their staring spots at left and right wing-back respectively, while the midfield square of James Garner, Ryan Yates, Joe Lolley and Brennan Johnson is also unchanged.
The second amendment is the enforced one at centre-forward, with the injured Grabban dropping out of the side for Lyle Taylor – as, putting it bluntly, Cooper does not have much choice other than to install the 31-year-old, despite his poor form so far this season.