Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka faces a tough decision with regards to team selection as his side host Newcastle tonight in the League Cup.
After two consecutive draws in the Championship, the Spanish manager will want to earn a win to build momentum going into Saturday’s fixture against Brentford, who are just one point ahead of them in the Championship table.
That is why he faces such a conundrum going into tonight. He would not want to field a weakened side against a Premier League outfit, in the fear of being humiliated at home. That is why The Reds’ busy summer will come in handy.
Nottingham Forest have a lot of strength in depth for a Championship club, meaning that Karanka will be able to rotate some players without disastrously weakening his side. This will also give the chance to field some players that have been underperforming so far this season.
Lewis Grabban has featured a lot for The Reds so far this season, but hasn’t yet been able to replicate the form that he showed for Aston Villa last season. He was dropped on Saturday in the draw to Birmingham, with Karanka favouring Daryl Murphy instead.
Tonight may be Grabban’s chance to play and perform with less pressure on him. Although Newcastle are a Premier League side, there is not the same pressure in the League Cup, particularly for a Championship side. He needs games like these to work his way back into form.
With Brentford looming at the weekend, Karanka will want a refreshed side as they travel to London. That should be his primary focus, with the hope that some players find their form tonight.