Football: Weekend guide to the Premiership: Nottingham Forest v Blackburn

Last season: No fixture

THE NOTTINGHAM Forest manager, Dave Bassett, is poised to spring a defensive surprise for the visit of fellow strugglers Blackburn. Bassett is toying with the idea of deploying a central defender, Jon Olav Hjelde, at right-back as he is keen to revert to a 4-4-2 formation, but has been unhappy with the performances of Thierry Bonalair in that position. And with transfer-listed Des Lyttle on loan at Port Vale, he is set to turn to Hjelde - even though he has never played at full-back for Forest. Meanwhile, the forward Dougie Freedman is expected to return to the front line at the expense of Marlon Harewood.

Rovers, seeking to sustain their encouraging start under new manager Brian Kidd, include their pounds 2.35m signing Keith Gillespie in the squad travelling to the City Ground, and could also have Chris Sutton returning to action after a six-week lay-off through suspension and injury. Kevin Gallacher will again be missing, however. Centre-back Darren Peacock is available again after recovering from a broken toe and goalkeeper John Filan, who has been suffering from concussion, faces a late fitness test.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST (from): Beasant, Hjelde, Bonalair, Rogers, Chettle, Mattsson, Armstrong, Gemmill, Stone, Johnson, Quashie, Bart-Williams, Van Hooijdonk, Freedman, Harewood, Shipperley, Gray, Darcheville, Crossley.

BLACKBURN ROVERS (from): Fettis, Kenna, Henchoz, Dailly, Davidson, Johnson, Sherwood, McKinlay, Wilcox, Davies, Blake, Duff, Broomes, Marcolin, Croft, Williams, Gillespie, Peacock, Filan, Sutton.

Suspensions: None

Referee: S Lodge.

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