Nottingham Forest manager Martin O’Neill faces a winnable first game in charge as Bristol City visit the City Ground.

The Robins have been fairly inconsistent this season but will provide stern opposition for O’Neill’s side, who have a number of injuries and suspensions to contend with.

That said, despite their inconsistent form, Lee Johnson’s side are currently sat seventh in the league, just two points off the play-off places.

Ahead of the match, Seat Pitch takes a look at the possible tactics and personnel O’Neill may utilise.

O’Neill’s tactical approach

Quite Often, too much emphasis is put on a manager’s tactical approach.

Aitor Karanka’s 4-2-3-1 set-up was often branded as ‘negative’ by some supporters. But when it worked, the Reds played some of the most exciting attacking football they’ve produced for years.

It will be interesting to see how O’Neill’s approach differs to Karanka’s. In his last three games with the Republic of Ireland, he set his side up in the 3-5-2 formation.

For the most part, he was willing to switch formation depending on the personnel he had available.

For example, the Republic of Ireland enjoyed great success at Euro 2016 set-up in a 4-3-3 formation for the latter stages.

 

The main question is what formation does O’Neill see best for the current crop of players available to him at Forest?

(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Colback and Murphy to be first names on the team sheet?

O’Neill has several big calls to make ahead of Saturday’s game. It is impossible to predict what changes he might make to the starting line-up.

Will he drop Costel Pantilimon? Who will he play in defence? Will he play Lewis Grabban and Daryl Murphy upfront together?

All of these questions will be answered when the team news is announced on Saturday afternoon.

Due to O’Neill’s previous success with the 4-3-3 formation, some supporters have expressed concerns over João Carvalho’s role. In short, it’s a formation that certainly wouldn’t suit the Portuguese midfielder’s style.

However, just because O’Neill has used this formation in the past, doesn’t mean he will utilise it at the City Ground.

If he rates Carvalho’s highly, he will find a way to get him into the team.

(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

It will be interesting to see whether both Jack Colback and Murphy’s previous connections with O’Neill will see them both start.

They are both certainly held in high regard by the Northern Irishman.

O’Neill may even decide to play both Murphy and Grabban upfront together, something Karanka rarely opted for.

In summary, whatever team O’Neill names on Saturday, it’s the perfect opportunity for him to get off to a winning start.