Nottingham Forest host Liverpool at the City Ground in the lunchtime Premier League kick-off this afternoon, and Steve Cooper will be hoping that his side can take something from their clash against the Merseyside giants.
The Tricky Trees are currently bottom of the table after Leicester City beat Leeds United on Thursday night, but the Forest manager will be hoping that their 0-0 stalemate at Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this week will inspire another solid defensive performance.
The Forest manager stated: “Harry is injured. He picked up a hamstring injury, unfortunately, which will rule him out for a little while.”
With that in mind, this is how Football Fancast expects Nottingham Forest to line up against Liverpool…
We expect just two changes to the side which drew against Brighton on Tuesday night, with Cooper opting for a 4-3-3 formation.
Whilst we predict that the midfielders and defenders will all retain their starting berths in the team, the final third is in desperate need of refreshing, as Forest are struggling for goals, which has ultimately led to the position in which they find themselves in the relegation zone.
We expect Brennan Johnson to keep his place in the team, but instead of playing in the centre-forward role like he did against Brighton, the young forward will return to his more conventional position on the right.
The first change to the Forest frontline that we predict is Emmanuel Dennis coming in on the left wing to replace Jesse Lingard in an effort to add a more natural finisher to the attack against Liverpool after the former Manchester United man put on a woeful performance in midweek.
The 29-year-old endured another anonymous display against Brighton, taking no shots on goal, making no dribble attempts, key passes or tackles throughout and completing just 16 touches and 11 passes over 86 minutes on the pitch.
Nor was that a rare off-day from Lingard, who has failed to score any higher than 6.7 on Sofascore in any of his last five appearances.
The second change that we envisage sees Morgan Gibbs-White lose his starting position to make way for Taiwo Awoniyi to complete the front three, with the Nigerian reprising his role at centre-forward.
The 25-year-old – who was dubbed “sensational” by his former Mainz coach Achim Beierlorzer – was not seen in the 0-0 draw against the Seagulls but could be the key to finding those crucial goals against his former club later today, with two Premier League goals already tallied in just four league starts for Forest.
If Cooper does make the necessary attacking changes to give a new perspective in the final third, it could give the Garibaldi their best chance of picking up some points against a Liverpool team who have now come into a run of form.