Blackstock, Ince, Veldwijk? Can any of them replace Assombalonga?

Nottingham Forest Stadium Night

Nottingham Forest will be without star striker Britt Assombalonga against Charlton - who should replace him?

Nottingham Forest fell to a dramatic late defeat to Birmingham City, but the ramifications of that loss will be felt against Charlton on Saturday.

Paul Caddis's late penalty handed the Blues a 2-1 win, but it came about because Britt Assombalonga - who had previously equalised for Forest - handballed on the line and was subsequently sent off.

Assombalonga, 21, smashed 33 goals for Peterborough last season and has been just as impressive with Forest, scoring 12 goals already this season.

Replacing his goalscoring prowess is a tough task for Forest manager Stuart Pearce, and he must now plan how to tackle the situation as he prepares his side to face Charlton Athletic next weekend.

Assombalonga played as part of a front two against Birmingham, with Matty Fryatt his partner. If Pearce decides to stick with that 4-4-2 system, then he has two options.

He can start Dexter Blackstock, who came on for Fryatt after 80 minutes at Birmingham, or alternatively look in the direction of £1m summer signing Lars Veldwijk, but that seems unlikely given that the 23-year-old Dutchman has yet to start a game in the league this term.

However, there is another option. What Pearce could choose to do is go with a 4-2-3-1 system, bring Robert Tesche into central midfield alongside Ben Osborn and use Michail Antonio, Henri Lansbury and either Chris Burke or loan signing Tom Ince behind a lone striker, probably Fryatt.

Ince hasn't had the desired impact during his loan spell just yet, but this could be a good chance for him to get back into the team, whilst Burke was substituted against his former club Birmingham on Saturday after just an hour of the game.

Pearce needs to have a very clear plan for how to play without his star striker Assombalonga, who has scored almost half of the team's goals this season, and it could be good preparation in case Assombalonga decides to accept a call-up from the Democratic Republic of Congo - the country of his birth - ahead of the 2015 African Cup of Nations.

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