Nottingham Forest travel to Blackburn in the Championship this weekend as Aitor Karanka’s side look for their fourth win of their league campaign.
The Reds currently lie two points adrift of the play-off positions after a disappointing start considering the money spent on 17 new signings this summer, but they are through to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after beating Stoke during the week.
In the 3-2 win, centre-back Michael Dawson put in an imperious display, heading everything away that Stoke threw into the box in the last few minutes as they chased an equaliser.
The 34-year-old began his career with Forest before leaving for Tottenham in 2005. After departing Hull this summer though, he rejoined the Reds and was seriously impressive against Stoke.
The question now will be whether he can displace Michael Hefele or Danny Fox in Karankas starting XI, but 69 per cent of the Forest fans that responded to our poll wanted Dawson to start against Blackburn.
Blackburn defender and skipper Charlie Mulgrew looks poised for a return to first team action after a spell on the sidelines, and is likely to replace the suspended Derrick Williams against Nottingham Forest today.
It has been a weird career for Mulgrew, who must go down as one of the more versatile players of the modern era, especially at his time at Celtic where a terrace chant centred around the fact he can play pretty much everywhere.
But this doesn’t mean his attacking abilities are missed, with Mulgrew being one of the leagues ‘free kick specialists’.
He has netted 20 goals in his 75 Blackburn appearances, which for a defender, should not be taken lightly.
This season, however, has been fairly frustrating for the ex-Aberdeen and Celtic man. A couple of niggly injuries have seen him miss most of the action and Blackburn were left without their captain.
However, Mowbray’s side have been boosted by the news that Mulgrew is set for a return to the fray today, with Derrick Williams’ suspension making a natural return seem likely.
It seems that the Ewood Park club are serious about achieving more than mid table though, with their eyes firmly set on the play-offs.
Mulgrew’s return is crucial to that and the fan favourite will be welcomed back to the starting eleven against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Should Blackburn really fancy themselves this season, Mulgrew will be absolutely crucial to that, not just for his abilities on the pitch, but more his leadership off it.
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