Nottingham Forest take on Blackburn Rovers at the City Ground tonight and the Reds desperately need some points on the board.

Chris Hughton needs a win badly but Tony Mowbray’s team arrive having picked up four points from their opening two games.

Saturday saw Hughton criticised for his decision to persist with two holding midfielders, despite Bournemouth going down to 10-men. Forest were beaten 2-1 in the end.

So, could the Reds boss be bold this evening? It has to be said that it seems unlikely.

Ahead of tonight’s game, we looked at a system that could help Forest wow the supporters and bring an element of the feel-good factor back to the City Ground. Disclaimer: This team almost certainly won’t be picked!

Bold Forest XI:

In goal and back four

Although we’re only two games into the new season, Brice Samba has already cost Forest some goals. Ethan Horvath was added to provide competition and he deserves his league bow tonight.

Nottingham Forest v Bradford City - Carabao Cup First Round
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Jordi Osei-Tutu was signed to play at right-back and he should revert to his natural position under the City Ground lights this evening.

At left-back, Jayden Richardson deserves his chance after impressing in the Carabao Cup against Bradford City.

At centre-back, there is unlikely to be a change. Scott McKenna will once again partner Tobias Figueiredo at the heart of the back four.

 

Holding midfield

There is too much of a muchness with Jack Colback and Ryan Yates and one of them should drop out.

Yates has captained the side on occasions this season and is unlikely to lose his place in the Forest team.

Hughton would really appease supporters if abandoned his ultra rigid 4-2-3-1 approach just for the sake of trying something different.

In attack

Joao Carvalho has to start. In eight minutes of action on Saturday, he showcased some neat hold-up play and slipped in a couple of decent passes.

He should partner Brennan Johnson. The youngster should be given something of a free role to roam across the final third and having Carvalho alongside him could help.

Nottingham Forest v Bradford City - Carabao Cup First Round
(Photo; Tony Marshall; Getty Images)

On the flanks, Philip Zinckernagel was brilliant on the right against Bradford. He has three assists to his name already this season and deserves a start again tonight.

Joe Lolley is perhaps not quite ready to play three games in a week so Alex Mighten should come in on the left-hand side.

Upfront, Lyle Taylor has been looking better with fans back in the ground but Lewis Grabban should come in for his first start this evening.

Here is how our bold line-up might look if Hughton was brave enough to utilise it:

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