Aitor Karanka revealed that a decision has already been made on Nottingham Forest’s midfield ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Stoke City. The Reds welcome Gary Rowett’s side to the City Ground over the weekend and could go third in the Championship table if results go their way.
Karanka has a selection headache in the engine room, with Ben Watson, Claudio Yacob, Jack Colback, Liam Bridcutt and Adlene Guedioura all fighting for two places in the Forest starting eleven. Despite being overwhelmed with options, the 45-year-old says he’s already knows who will play.
He told Nottingham Live: “I know, already, who is going to play. After the game, if I play with Claudio and we win, nothing will be said. If we lose, people will say that I should have played Jack. If I pick Jack, and we lose, people will say I should not have played him – but I know this.
“This is my job and, once again, I will try to make the right decision. It is an easy decision for me to make”. In Forest’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United on November 3, Yacob was partnered with Guedioura in midfield and greatly impressed on his debut. It’s expected that he’ll retain his place, but he could still be short of full match fitness after a lengthy period without playing.
Watson was recently dropped after poor form, while Liam Bridcutt has spent most of the season out of the matchday squads. Jack Colback only missed the United clash due to a yellow card suspension, so he stands a chance of being brought back to the fray on Saturday.
Forest are favourites to pick up all three points against Stoke, with the hosts boasting two wins and a draw from their last three. The visitors have managed only one win in four, however.