Blackburn Rovers face a Nottingham Forest side looking to get ‘out of the woods’ this Saturday after what could only be described as a horrendous start to their campaign.
Tony Mowbray’s side will be looking to continue their momentum that they built up before the international break last weekend, the blues have only conceded 2 goals in four games and they came on the opening weekend of the season against Bournemouth.
Forest sacked manager Sabri Lamouchi after failing to pick up a point in their first four games; the visitors replaced him with Chris Hughton. He is a manager who knows what it takes to get out of this demanding league, after gaining two promotions with Brighton and Newcastle.
Rovers saw three of their senior players called up for international duty, Derrick Williams (ROI), Corry Evans (NI) and Thomas Kaminski who joined up with the Belgium side before their defeat to England at Wembley on Sunday.
Although Forest haven’t made the greatest start this season Mowbray knows it will still be a difficult game, speaking to the Blackburn Rovers website he said: “It’s a team with a new coach in Chris Hughton, who’s a very experienced manager and someone who knows this league.
“They have some very talented players and were in the top six of this division pretty much all of last season until the last kick of the season.”
Rovers are the clear favourites coming into this one but that can’t be taken for granted.
He added: “They’ll all be trying their best to impress, so it’s about us getting the performance levels right.
“It’s an exciting game, a big game and one we’re looking forward to.”
Defender Darragh Lenihan was forced to drop out of the ROI squad with a knock but is likely to be fit for the visit of Forest at the weekend. Derrick Williams’ won’t be available due to COVID-19 he has to self -isolate after members of the ROI squad contracted the virus whilst on international duty.
Elliott Bennett and Joe Rankin-Costello are still out of action and midfielder Lewis Holtby will miss this weekend’s clash after his wife gave birth to their daughter this week, he will be remaining in his home country of Germany for an extended period.
There are no new injury concerns for the visitors.
Adam Armstrong will be the man Forest will be looking to stop, with an impressive five goals in four games the Newcastle born forward just can’t seem to stop scoring at the moment and could be a real handful for the reds back line. With Ben Brereton and Tyrhys Dolan playing alongside him, they are a lethal front three on their day as shown with emphatic wins over Wycombe and Derby.
Luke Freeman is the only player to score a goal for Forest this season which came in their 1-2 defeat to Bristol City at the weekend; Lewis Grabban will be one for the Rovers defenders to keep close tabs on.
Although the 32 year-old is yet to register a goal this season, he has been around long enough to know where the back of the net is when given a chance, after notching 17 times last season for the reds.
The last time the two sides met was on New Year’s Day this year when a first-half goal from Joe Lolley followed by a Lewis Grabban brace helped Forest seal all three points at the City Ground.
The home side will be going into this encounter at Ewood Park with lots of confidence but with a new boss at the helm, Nottingham Forest will be raring to make his start to life in the East Midlands a happy one.