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24 September 2018

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Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka says he expects to make changes to his side for Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup clash with Stoke City.

The Potters visit The City Ground for the third-round tie and although he doesn't know which changes to make as yet, Karanka says he will rotate his squad after three games in a week.

He said: "It is difficult to play three games in one week, so imagine playing four in ten days. I need to check how the players are and then put the best players out for the game on Wednesday.

"I have said always, that we want to go through in the cups. With this squad, we have plenty of options to play. We played with 11 players, three went to the pitch and we have another ten or 11 players to play. For sure, those who go to the pitch will be those who are in the better condition."

Karanka said that Liam Bridcutt is pushing for a starting spot, while Panagiotis Tachtsidis and Claudio Yacob could also be involved for the first time.

"I need to check about Panos and Claudio because it is true, everybody is expecting them," he added. "But I also have to respect the players who were already here like Bridcutt for example. If you want to build a team, you have to be careful with these little details, but they are both training well so maybe they will have their chance.

"Liam has been training really well since I arrived here, not just this season but last season as well. He was unlucky when I arrived as he got injured and we had Adlene, Watson and Colback in his position.

"When he played the last games in the season, he did really well and his attitude is always good. When he played against Newcastle he was brilliant and when he went to the pitch in the last few minutes on Saturday, he was perfect and I think he will get his chance."

Stoke have had a tough time on their return to the Championship, and come into the game on the back of a defeat against Blackburn at the weekend, but Karanka is expecting a difficult evening.

He said: "I am expecting a big opponent, they have a good manager, a good squad and I am expecting a tough game.

"They may change a lot of players, the players who will play will want to show that they are ready to play. Sometimes you don't know what is better, to play with the same team or to change. We need to be ready with our team, be ready with my selection and to try to win the game."

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