How Cardiff City will likely line up against Nottingham Forest as new internationals ramp up pressure on established star
The first international break of the season is done and dusted and Cardiff City's Championship campaign is set to get up and running once again.
The Bluebirds' opening five games brought mixed fortunes, with two wins, two draws and one defeat already in the bank as we look ahead to this next set of fixtures.
There has been some chopping and changing from Mick McCarthy, especially at the top end of the pitch, but many Cardiff fans will hope he plumps for an attacking line up against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
In goal will be Dillon Phillips . The former Charlton shot-stopper has been installed as the No.1 this season after impressing the manager with his performances last term, meaning Alex Smithies must continue to bide his time on the bench.
In defence, it would be something of a shock if McCarthy did not go for his tried and trusted trio of Sean Morrison , Aden Flint and Curtis Nelson .
Cardiff will want to stop shipping as many goals as they have — six — as they pride themselves on being tough to break down. But Morrison and Flint's contributions at the top end of the pitch have been vital.
At wing back, Tom Sang will likely keep Perry Ng out of the starting line up once again, while Joel Bagan , who made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s this week, is the only real left-back City have in their squad, so he will get the nod there.
In central midfield, well McCarthy's preferred duo has been Joe Ralls and Marlon Pack this season, so one would expect him to go for that again at the City Ground this weekend, meaning Will Vaulks will once again have to wait patiently for his opportunity.
Then the all-important front three.
Kieffer Moore will no doubt be a shoo-in to lead the line, with his 10 days of quarantine for being deemed a close contact to Covid positive Wales keeper Adam Davies now over, while Ryan Giles has been City's best creative outlet so far this term and their best summer signing, so he will operate on one flank.
On the other side, well many supporters would like to think it is a straight shootout between this week's competitive Wales debutants Rubin Colwill and Mark Harris, however the manager does seem to favour Leandro Bacuna in that role.
Given the impact Harris has had off the bench for his country this week, though, it would be difficult to deny him a starting berth this Sunday.
Team to face Nottingham Forest: Phillips; Morrison, Flint, Nelson; Sang, Pack, Ralls, Bagan; Harris, Moore, Giles.
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