Nottingham Forest host Liverpool at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League, and Garibaldi manager Steve Cooper has revealed an update on the availability of his players ahead of the clash.
The Forest boss took to his pre-match press conference to deliver an update on Lewis O’Brien’s recovery from illness, confirming that the 24-year-old will unlikely be available for selection this weekend.
Cooper told the media (via Nottinghamshire Live): “Lewis still hasn’t recovered from his illness.
“Lewis is still poorly. We are helping as much as we can with his recovery and really trying to get to the bottom of it. He’s taken a bit of a hit with it.”
Forest are experiencing an injury crisis with all of their left-backs currently ruled out, so O’Brien’s continued struggles to recover from a bout of illness is another blow for Cooper ahead of the match this weekend.
The 24-year-old midfielder has been arguably one of the best players on the pitch for the Tricky Trees this season and is currently the fifth highest-rated player in the squad according to SofaScore.
In eight league appearances this season, O’Brien has scored once, made two tackles per game and tallied a 94% pass completion rate in his own half, while also winning the majority of his duels (63%) and completing 67% of his dribbles so far, proving that he is an effective presence in the middle of the park.
Omar Richards, Renan Lodi, Harry Toffolo, Jack Colback and Moussa Niakhate are also unavailable for the difficult clash against Jurgen Klopp’s side in the luinchtime kick-off tomorrow, and with O’Brien capable of deputising at left-back, another option has seemingly been stricken off the list.
Forest are currently rock bottom of the Premier League table following Leicester City‘s win over Leeds United last night, so picking up points in any way possible will be essential in their upcoming fixtures ahead of the World Cup if the Garibaldi are to have any chance of climbing out of the bottom three before the Qatar tournament.
Cooper will be hoping that the solid defensive performance in the 0-0 stalemate against Brighton and Hove Albion in midweek will give his team the confidence to put on another resilient display in front of their home supporters on Saturday to pick up at least a point against Liverpool.