Nottingham Forest travel to the northwestern coast this afternoon for their FA Cup third round clash against Blackpool, and Steve Cooper will surely be heading into the game full of confidence after an impressive run of form for his team over the last few weeks.
The Tricky Trees have spent the majority of their Premier League campaign so far in the relegation zone, but after claiming all three points at Southampton this week, all of their hard work has paid off as they are now 15th and two points clear of the bottom three.
Cooper will now be given the opportunity to give the City Ground faithful a chance to dream of a healthy domestic cup run if he can secure progression in the competition this afternoon.
Indeed, after signing virtually a whole new squad in the summer, the Forest manager won’t be short of options to rotate his team which won at St Mary’s, and there is one player in particular who could make a highly-anticipated appearance against the Seasiders today.
Gustavo Scarpa has only made one appearance amounting to 19 minutes so far in the Premier League, but there is no doubt that Cooper will be keen to get his shiny new Brazilian gem stuck into action, so finally unleashing him in the starting line-up against Blackpool could be a great move.
The 29-year-old moved to Trentside last month after completing his season with Palmeiras and has had an impressive career so far that Forest supporters will be hoping he can emulate when he finally gets a consistent run in the team.
The forward has scored 53 goals and registered 76 assists in 323 career appearances so far, with a goal contribution every 165 minutes, and in his last season for Palmeiras he proved that he is a consistent and reliable performer in front of goal.
Across 35 appearances in 2022, Scarpa – who was dubbed a “major talent” by journalist Kostas Lianos – scored seven goals, delivered 12 assists and created a whopping 16 big chances, while also averaging 1.1 shots on target, 3.4 key passes and 3.9 successful duels per game.
With that being said, deploying Scarpa in the Nottingham Forest team today could give Cooper a real insight into what he can offer the team and how he can fit into the manager’s philosophy ahead of their Premier League clash with Leicester City next weekend.