Nottingham Forest face Sheffield United in a playoff semi-final on Saturday in what could be described as the Reds’ biggest game in a decade.
Forest have been in this position before. They made the 2010/11 playoffs, before being dumped out by Swansea, but this time, the context heading into the post-season is entirely different.
A decade ago, Forest sneaked in in sixth place, but this time around, they come into the playoffs as the division’s form team.
Indeed, no side has amassed more points than Nottingham Forest since Steve Cooper took charge, and, dare we say it, the Tricky Trees head into the playoffs as favourites – if such a thing exists in this competition.
Unfortunately, Forest come up against a rejuvenated Sheffield United side that stormed the top six in the second-half of the season, and coming off the back of a 4-0 win against Fulham, the Blades will be riding the crest of a wave.
With that in mind, we’ve had a go at predicting Steve Cooper’s starting XI for this one.
We think that Cooper will make seven changes from the heavily rotated team that drew with Hull on the final day.
For many, this is the strongest team Forest can put out at the moment, and it’s the exact same XI that lost to Bournemouth in that crunch clash at the Vitality.
Brice Samba starts between the sticks, and he’s protected by Joe Worrall, Steve Cook and Scott McKenna.
Djed Spence and Jack Colback once again start at wing-back, while the pairing of Ryan Yates and Joe Garner start in the middle of the park.
Brennan Johnson and Phillip Zinckernagel start as the wide attackers, while Sam Surridge leads the line.
Keinan Davis is reportedly set to miss this one, but don’t be too shocked to see him come off the bench. After all, Steve Cooper has been known to bend the truth and throw a few curveballs when it comes to his players’ fitness in the past.
The post Seven changes, Surridge starts: Nottingham Forest’s predicted XI vs Sheffield United appeared first on HITC.