Nottingham Forest welcome in-form Derby County to the City Ground on February 25 – a game that could see the Reds narrow the gap to the Rams in the table – and O’Neill could name a more defensively-minded side as a result.
Against Preston, Forest started with two central strikers and one attacking-midfield in behind. Derby would surely exploit such an open formation so O’Neill might be more reserved on Monday. Having Watson operating alongside Jack Colback in a deep-lying role would provide more protection to the defence, but there are other players waiting in the wings too.
Claudio Yacob was a regular under former manager Aitor Karanka, but he hasn’t started a game for Forest since January 19. The ball-winning midfielder was outstanding alongside Colback earlier in the season, but he can’t get more than a substitute outing these days. Matty Cash may also be in contention if he returns from injury in time, but it’s unlikely that he’ll start regardless.