Michael Dawson looks like coming back into contention for Nottingham Forest on Saturday, which is most timely given that Derby are due at the City Ground.

Should he be drafted straight back into the starting XI though?

The Reds skipper has been out of action since being forced off against Stoke on September 27.

Five games have been taken in since then.

In Dawson’s absence, Chema and Tobias Figueiredo have been sharing the responsibility of providing cover.

The former has been getting the nod in home games, with the latter stepping in for trips out on the road.

It was initially expected that they would battle it out for starting duty against the Rams.

Sabri Lamouchi has, however, said in the Nottingham Post: “Michael Dawson will be with the squad for the next game which is good news.”

That it is!


(Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images)

There is, however, now a selection poser facing Forest heading into the biggest game of the season so far.

If Dawson is anywhere close to being fit, then he should probably get the nod.

A defensive unit which has been solid enough on the whole has looked at its most watertight with two academy graduates forming the centre-half partnership.

Dawson and Joe Worrall have been a welcome surprise to many.

With another home-grown star, Matty Cash, being added into the mix at right-back.

They are the type of players you need on derby day.

Those who know what the occasion is all about and have seen it hammered into them that defeat is not an option.

Of course, there is the potential for heart to rule head here.

Dawson will be a little rusty, but the potential benefits could outweigh the pitfalls.

The leadership he would add to the pot will be most beneficial, while his ability to read the game and marshal those around him will add another touch of presence and assurance to Lamouchi’s ranks.


Is he a gamble worth taking? Maybe.

If he is deemed to be back to peak condition and there is no element of risk involved, then his selection becomes a no-brainer.

Forest have only suffered one defeat with Dawson in the team since he returned to Trentside.

His value to the cause is without question.

It also has to be noted that he only has to drag himself through 90 minutes before hitting the next international break.

He will then get a fortnight to rest 35-year-old limbs before the Reds head to Bristol City.

Allowing emotion to influence actions is rarely wise but this is the derby – emotion is what it is all about!

The sight of Dawson leading Forest out of the tunnel would be one for sore eyes, but even having him back on the bench would be a step in the right direction with a much bigger picture in mind.

Over to you Sabri.

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