If Nottingham Forest are to down Derby County on Saturday, then the chances are at least one Portuguese performer will shine.

Joao Carvalho and Tiago Silva will be battling it out for the No.10 spot.

Tobias Figueiredo intends to retain his starting berth alongside Joe Worrall at the heart of the back four.

It could, however, be that Yuri Ribeiro proves just as important to the Reds’ cause on derby day.

He has been staking a serious claim to making the left-back spot his own.

Jack Robinson will continue to have something to say about that, but a summer arrival from 2019 has been trumping one from 12 months earlier.

Ribeiro has been a bundle of energy to this point.

Anything less than 100 per cent and the talented 22-year-old does not want to know.

He only has one setting, which is full throttle!

And that would appear to make him the perfect fit for a prominent role against the Rams.


(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Forest are going to need energy, and bags of it, against their old adversaries.

Carvalho, Silva and Co will be required to pick a few locks and influence proceedings in the final third, with guile needed alongside the graft.

Ribeiro could offer a bit of both.

He can be relied upon to get stuck in heading towards his own goal, but will also drive down the flank going the other way.

That fact is highlight by the numbers he has been posting.

Riberio has taken in six Championship outings to date, while Robinson has seen game time in 11 fixtures.

The former has attempted more dribbles – with a better success rate – and displayed better crossing accuracy (33.33% to 18.75).

He has also created seven chances and shown himself to be just as capable as Robinson when it comes to on-field duels.



It is the added spark he provides which can make him a useful option against Derby.

If the Rams favour a diamond formation, or any other narrow variation on a 4-2-3-1 system, then there will be space to exploit out wide.

Forest will, in front of their own supporters, want and be expected to get on the front foot.

The likes of Joe Lolley, Sammy Ameobi et al can provide more natural width, as they drift into attacking holes, but full-backs will also have an important role to play.

Matty Cash, as a winger-come-defender, will have no problems down the right.

Ribeiro can be just as effective on the opposite side of the field.

He has proved as much thus far and will feel that he has done enough to get the nod from Sabri Lamouchi.

Robinson may be a more defensively sound and experienced option, but the Reds should be favouring ambition over caution.

Ribeiro has already helped to silence the Rams once this season, in a 3-0 Carabao Cup win, and will feel confident in his ability to repeat the trick with precious points on the line.

It is going to be a battle on Saturday and the more Portuguese man o’ war Forest have in their ranks, the better.

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