Goncalves and Carvalho to start – Strongest 4-2-3-1 Nottingham Forest XI to face Real Betis

Predicted 4-2-3-1 Nottingham Forest lineup to face Real Betis

Nottingham Forest will continue their preparations for the season ahead with a friendly against Spanish La Liga side Real Betis on Saturday at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador Algeciras. 

The Reds began their pre-season campaign in fine fashion, thrashing Lincoln Red Imps 5-0 earlier this week. And manager Aitor Karanka will be hoping that his side continues to impress against the La Liga outfit, as they look to get into good shape ahead of the 2018/19 season.  

Aitor Karanka has been sacked by Middlesbrough.
Aitor Karanka

Here’s how Karanka might set his team up against the Spaniards in their second pre-season fixture of the summer.

Probable Nottingham Forest XI

Manager: Aitor Karanka 

Formation: 4-2-3-1 

Costel Pantilimon (GK) 

The Romanian goalkeeper arrived this summer from Watford FC and should be in line to make his first appearance for the club on Saturday.  

Jordan Gabriel (RB) 

The young right-back impressed in the win over Lincoln, netting in the first period. Should get another chance to prove himself against Betis.  

Michael Dawson (CB) 

The veteran centre-half featured in the second period last game but should be set to make his first start post his return to his boyhood club this summer.  

Michael Dawson

Thomas Lam (CM) 

Partnering the 34-year-old Dawson in the heart of the defence should be the 24-year-old Thomas Lam, who returned after a loan spell with Dutch side Twente.  

Ben Osborn (LB) 

The versatile 23-year-old was a great outlet down the left-hand side against Lincoln, after having come on as a second half substitute and should be in the starting XI on Saturday.  

Ben Osborn

Matty Cash (CM) 

One of the goalscorers from the impressive win on Wednesday, the promising 20-year-old should once again feature from the get-go for Forest.  

Ryan Yates (CM) 

Having come in as a half-time substitute last time out, the midfielder made a solid impression and got his name on the scoresheet as well. Should warrant a spot in the starting XI.  

Gil Dias (RW) 

The AS Monaco loanee wasn’t part of the starting XI last game but showed glimpses of potential after coming on as a sub in the second half. Should get the nod on the right flank.  

Joao Carvalho (CAM) 

The 21-year-old Portuguese was one of the brightest sparks for Forest in the first pre-season friendly. Karanka should stick with him in the No.10 role as he looks to build a team around Joao’s creative abilities.  

Joao Carvalho

Diogo Goncalves (LW) 

Another summer arrival, the loanee from Benfica stood out against Lincoln with his delicate first touch and the penchant for running at defenders from the wide areas. Should be retained in the line-up.  

Read More: Nottingham Forest’s perfect July – Jack Colback re-signed, right-back signed and deadwoods cleared

Virgil Gomis (ST) 

The young forward is highly-rated within the club and should be given a chance from the kick-off to make an impression for the senior team. 

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