Liam Bridcutt’s wait to make his return for Nottingham Forest looks set to continue when Derby County come to the City Ground on Monday night.
The 29-year-old impressed for the u23s in front of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane earlier in February but still hasn’t been rewarded with a recall to the first-team. And with stiff competition in midfield ahead of their Midlands derby, Bridcutt has a tough task to get an opportunity.
Ben Watson was rested against Preston North End but looks set to return to face the Rams. Adlene Guedioura was pictured back in training after a hamstring injury and could feature if he’s deemed fit. There’s also Claudio Yacob who has been in the matchday squad in every game under O’Neill.
In attack, Leo Bonatini recently scored in an u23s game and should make the squad against Derby to provide cover for Daryl Murphy and Lewis Grabban. Molla Wague also played in that game and got valuable minutes to boost his fitness.
And coupled with a backup goalkeeper and one of Saidy Janko or Tendayi Darikwa being picked to start while the other is named on the bench, Forest have filled every substitute position without including Matty Cash who is doubtful and Pele who has been on the periphery.
If Yacob and Watson aren’t getting a start against Derby, Bridcutt doesn’t have much of a chance either.