Friday, 29 August 2014

Sheffield Steel

The Sheffield Wednesday team that lines up against Nottingham Forest on Saturday will be a far different proposition to the one which Forest defeated 1-0 in last season's equivalent match at Hillsborough. But so, for that matter, will the Forest side.

Both teams have made a strong start to the season and are currently unbeaten in the League and Capital One Cup - which is probably more than either would've expected at this stage. This fixture used to be a staple of the top-flight calendar, a usually entertaining match between two established clubs. However, I mean no disrespect to Wednesday when I say that it's some time since they've been challenging for a return to those lofty heights.

For Forest's part; given that they have a new manager and a very different squad, it was by no means certain that they'd start so well. But the new signings have settled in quickly and the team has definitely hit the ground running, and it'll need to maintain this form to have a chance of matching last season's result in South Yorkshire.

Wednesday striker Atdhe Nuhiu looks to be a real threat, and whichever central defenders line up in red tomorrow, they'll have to be on their mettle. Their recent win at Middlesbrough was as eye-catching a result as Forest's was at Bournemouth. Still, Forest aren't without weapons of their own and, should he be fit, the Owls will need to be wary of their former winger Michail Antonio, who has already netted four times for the Reds since joining earlier in August. Even if Antonio doesn't make the line-up tomorrow, Forest look to have plenty of other attacking options to trouble the home defence.

Reaching the first international break unbeaten - and ideally still top of the League - would represent a fantastic start to the season for Forest. I'm certain that Stuart Pearce will ensure that no complacency or over-confidence sets into the team. If they can perform up to their recent levels then it could be another good day for the Reds.

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