Sabri Lamouchi: Master of the clean sheet
Lamouchi had an impressive playing record (Photo: Getty Images)

Rui Costa; Enzo Scifo; Jurgen Klinsmann; Hakan Sukur; Henrik Larsson; Hidetoshi Nakata.

The list of names unable to break down a Sabri Lamouchi-inspired French midfield during a fledgling career for Les Bleus is quite substantial.

Albeit part of a golden generation that included the likes of Didier Deschamps, Patrick Vieira, Zinedine Zidane, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet and arguably the greatest back four of the era - Thuram - Blanc - Desailly - Lizarazu - the professional Lamouchi was a vital squad player in the development of a side building towards World Cup '98.

Shield for the stars

France went close to achieving stardom just two years earlier at Euro '96, missing out on a Wembley final only by the lottery of penalties against Czech Republic. Lamouchi played 62 minutes of the contest before being hooked for the more attacking Reynald Pedros - who missed a vital penalty in the shootout.

That hour was the peak of Lamouchi's international career where he was part of a team that conceded just two goals during his 691 minutes on the pitch - an average of just under a goal every six hours.

But such an emphatic defensive shield extended to his club career - just 20 European goals conceded in 22 matches during his Auxerre days and 18 clean sheets in 48 collective UEFA Cup games for the French side, Monaco, Parma, Inter Milan and Marseille.

Put in perspective, an almost identical record to Liverpool's last 48 European fixtures which have included runs to three finals since 2015.

Such was Lamouchi's influence that his £7 million move from Monaco to Parma in July 2000 at the age of 28 was comparable to Pires' transfer to Arsenal in the same summer.

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No Mbappe party

Lamouchi has since developed a managerial career based upon the aspects of a solid foundation at the back - an Ivory Coast side boasting the attacking talents of Didier Drogba, Wilfried Bony, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho proved balanced with six clean sheets during Lamouchi's first 16 games in charge, unbeaten in each.

After a spell in Qatar, Lamouchi took charge of Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais, propelling them from mid-table mediocrity to Europa League qualification in 2018.

Paris Saint-Germain scored 108 goals in 38 games that season, failing to score in just three games - one of those against Lamouchi's side with Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria kept at bay for 90 minutes.

But the following season didn't prove quite as joyous; sacked by Christmas.


Under the radar, Lamouchi's appointment at the City Ground was somewhat a surprise in the wake of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane's departures - two club legends.

With an average of just 47% possession, joint 19th in the Championship with Tuesday evening's opponents, Charlton Athletic, Nottingham Forest have been a synonym of efficiency this season.

Only bottom of the table Luton have seen more of the ball in their own third this campaign, again joint with Charlton, but Lamouchi's side are quick to spring on the counter-attack, spearheaded by the deadly finishing ability of Lewis Grabban - only Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ollie Watkins have contributed a higher percentage of goals for their clubs this season.

No way through the Forest

35 matches in all competitions, Forest have recorded seven 1-0 victories and kept clean sheets in 13 contests.

Patrick Bamford; Brentford's BMW attack (twice); Jarrod Bowen; Nakhi Wells.

Not quite the list of international stars as above but several prolific Championship strikers in their own right who have led the line for their respective sides throughout 90 minutes against Lamouchi's Forest without finding the back of the net.