Nottingham Forest European Cup winner Colin Barrett admits a Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal is a “freebie” for the Reds.

It remains to be seen how seriously Sabri Lamouchi takes a trip to Emirates Stadium.

A glamour third round tie has captured the imagination of a loyal fan base – along with reasonably priced tickets.

Upwards of 8,000 Forest fans will be making the trip to north London hoping to witness the claiming of a prized scalp.

With such strong backing, will Lamouchi opt to a name a strong starting line-up?

Alternatively, with a home date with Barnsley to take in on Saturday and a trip to Stoke next Friday, will Championship points take priority and rotation by implemented?

Or a bit of both?

Difficult

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Barrett told Seat Pitch when presented with that poser: “This is the difficult one. There are 8-9,000 Forest fans going.

“If there are 9,000 Forest fans going then the club has got to look at it and say: ‘Hold on a minute, they have paid good money to go down south’.

“I’m sure they would all give it up for promotion but they might turn around and say ‘we’ll give everyone a game’. Arsenal are going to do the same. It will be closer than anyone thinks if both sides put their second XIs out.

“It will be tough on Forest to go there but I used to love playing Saturday-Wednesday, Saturday-Wednesday. Times have changed now, the way they rotate players. I’m a firm believer in playing your best side and while things are going well, play it.

“To be honest, this is a freebie for the players in terms of nobody expects us to go to Arsenal and win, all they want is a performance from the players and show that they have got something to offer against the likes of Arsenal. Most Forest fans will turn away happy with that.

“I can’t see Forest going on to win that trophy, but it’s a big scalp and while the momentum is with them…

“The big game is Saturday. If they win on Saturday then confidence is going to be sky-high and it’s a free one against Arsenal to go out and play.”

Result

 

Barrett added, with a trip to the Potteries to take into account: “The fact that it’s a Friday game means one day less to prepare.

“But Arsenal have got midweek games. They will play a strong XI but I don’t think they’ll play their first XI.

“If they went to Arsenal and gave a good performance and then went to Stoke and won that, then that’s a successful week regardless of the result against Arsenal.

“I think it will be a good test for everybody. But to see upwards of 8,000 fans there, it’s going to be hard for the management to not think ‘what have we done’ if he plays a weakened side.”

Forest have been building momentum over recent weeks and will not want to see that broken.

The Reds are currently eight games unbeaten and can add another entry to that list if defeat is avoided against Barnsley.

Lamouchi certainly has some big decisions to make.

Championship matters must narrow the focus this season, but the opportunity to send Arsenal packing in the cup provides quite the quandary.