No matter what football team you support, be it one in the top flight or one in League 2, everyone dreams of a cup run. For some clubs a cup run brings the thrill and challenge that they may be able to upset one of the big boys in the top flight. For some clubs a cup run can be an alternative success and one that can hide the disappointments of a league campaign. For others a cup run can be seen as a mere distraction and potentially a competition that will only cause them problems.
Forest take on Shrewsbury Town in the 1st round of the newly named Carabao Cup in which should hopefully be a competitive but relatively comfortable match. Forest were far from their best on Saturday against Millwall and did not deserve to take all three points. In hindsight we would have been lucky to have held onto a draw, as this was a game which mirrored a lot of the mistakes from last season.
Mark Warbutton will need to name a competitive side for tomorrow night’s Carabao Cup fixture and he will already know that Shrewsbury will be a tough encounter. The Shrews won on the opening day at home against Northampton Town, thanks to a late winner from John-Lewis. If Forest perform tomorrow as they did on Saturday against Millwall then this really could be a difficult tie.
The Opposition: Shrewsbury Town F.C.
Manager: Paul Hurst
2016-2017: 18th place finish in Sky Bet League 1
Head to Head Record: The two sides have never met in a competitive fixture before.
Last Meeting: N/A
Shrewsbury’s Last game: 05/08/2017: Shrewsbury Town 1-0 Northampton Town
Transfers in Summer 2017: Lennel John-Lewis (Newport County), Niall Ennis (Wolves U23s), Arthur Gnahoua (Kidderminster), Craig MacGillivary (Walsall), Daniel James (Swansea U23s), Ebou Adams (Norwich City U23s), Dean Henderson (Manchester United U23s), Zak Jules (Reading U23s), James Bolton (Gateshead), Jon Nolan, (Chesterfield FC), Carlton-Morris (Norwich U23), Dominic Smith (Southport).
What style of football do Shrewsbury play?
Shrewsbury struggled last season and finished a lowly 18th place in League 1. This summer manager Paul Hurst has overhauled his squad and looked to bring in plenty of new faces and hidden talent from Non-League. Last season Shrewsbury were not known for playing attractive football and again like Millwall typically played very direct and play off scraps. Shrewsbury have been very busy in the transfer window and have sold/released 11 players, whilst bringing in 11 new players.
Therefore given the complete overhaul of last season’s squad it is yet to be known what sort of style Paul Hurst will look to play tomorrow evening. It is though very likely that he will set his side out to be compact and not allow Forest to break through the Shrewsbury rearguard.
Shrewsbury dominated possession against Northampton on Saturday but it is very likely that they will let Forest dictate the game and look to hurt Forest at set plays.
Ones to watch?
Lennel John-Lewis and Niall Ennis
How did Shrewsbury fair last season in the Capital One Cup (Now known as Carabao Cup)?
The Shrews made it to the 2nd round last year and were defeated 1-0 by Sunderland.
Likely Line up against Forest?
- MacGillivray, 13. Bolton, 22. Nsiala, 18. Jules, 16. Morris, 12. Brown, 7. Whalley, 8. Ogogo, 20. Nolan, 10. Dodds, 19. Ennis
What do the Bookies say?
Bet365 has priced Forest as strong favourites to beat Shrewsbury convincingly. Forest are priced at 4/7 to win, 16/5 to draw inside normal time, and underdogs Shrewsbury are priced at 11/2 to knock out the Championship side.
Forest to win 3-1 and advance to the next round of the cup. However, I feel that Shrewsbury will put up a good fight and that it will be a close encounter. Goals coming for Forest by Dowell, Cummings and Vellios.