Nottingham Forest have confirmed they will be without seven players ahead of Saturday afternoon’s meeting with Brentford – Yohan Benalouane (suspended), Jack Colback (suspended), Michael Dawson (hamstring), Tobias Figueiredo (leg), Michael Hefele (achilles), Sam Byram (knee), Hilel Soudani (leg). Tendayi Darikwa has returned from suspension and will be available for selection.
Benalouane was sent off in his third Forest appearance against Birmingham City and will be absent against the Bees as a result. Hefele is out for the season while Dawson and Figueiredo are both ruled out until March, so Martin O’Neill has limited options in central defence. Darikwa is back but Saidy Janko might keep his place at right-back.
Soudani has been out of action for nearly four months. His last appearance for Forest was against Bolton Wanderers on October 24, 2018. The 31-year-old has made only eight appearances for the season, totalling up to 235 minutes of playing time in all competitions. With Leo Bonatini signed on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers on deadline day, O’Neill still has three strikers to choose from.
After three defeats from their last four games, Forest need a result to keep their hopes of reaching the playoffs alive.