NOTTINGHAM FOREST VS LIVERPOOL: PREVIEW
Following back to back victories in the Premier League, Liverpool head to City Ground to take on newly promoted Nottingham Forest. The Reds aim to make it three league wins on the spin for the first time this campaign. Here’s a preview of the game.
It’s been much more like it from Jürgen Klopp’s men in the past ten days or so. The 7-1 victory over Rangers set the tone for a turnaround in fortunes. The confidence gained from that night certainly helped as Klopp’s side turned Manchester City over last Sunday.
That result was then backed up with a gritty win over West Ham on Wednesday night. It was shaping up to be a comfortable stroll against the Hammers but a failure to kill the game off allowed them to grow into it and almost snatch a point.
Alisson Becker once again stood tall, saving a spot kick from Jarrod Bowen before producing an incredible late block to divert Thomas Soucek’s deflected shot just past the post. The Brazilian has arguably been Liverpool’s best player this campaign.
Darwin Nunez meanwhile netted what turned out to be the winner – his first goal at Anfield since his record breaking switch from Benfica. The 23 year old has now scored in each of his last three starts for the club and seems to be bubbling up nicely.
With long term injuries to Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, Jürgen Klopp can certainly use another in-form attacker. There still remains seven fixtures in all competitions till the World Cup commences, and the Reds will want to continue in this vein of form.
Opponents Forrest are currently rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table. After the euphoria of securing promotion for the first time in 23 years, the club’s recruitment went into overdrive in the summer window. A whopping 22 new signings came through the door.
Steve Cooper has been left to try and gel everything together to produce results on the pitch. It’s been a poor campaign thus far; who knew signing a whole new first team squad would see a club struggle, especially in the first few months?
Whether the owners will have patience with the manager remains to be seen. The former Liverpool Academy coach has done a tremendous job at City Ground. He took over with the club bottom of the Championship and has worked miracles to get them to this stage.
Bottom of the Premier League definitely beats being bottom of the Championship. Forest actually began the season well. Four points from their opening three games was a promising start, with the victory over West Ham particularly impressive.
Since then however, it’s six defeats and two draws. A lack of chemistry, a lack of collectivity and familiarity are definitely among the issues plaguing Cooper’s side. They have however managed to tighten up defensively since a 4-0 trashing at Leicester.
They’ve only let in one goal from open play in their last three, and even that was an Ashley Young stunner from outside the box. They will seek to frustrate and make it tight tomorrow, but it is a challenge the Reds should be well equipped to deal with.
Jürgen Klopp has only come up against Forest once (in the FA Cup quarter final last season). A tough tie was decided by a late Jota goal as the Reds went all the way to lift the trophy at Wembley. A repeat of that result tomorrow would be welcome.
There are still a number of absentees for Liverpool. Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Arthur Melo are out till after the World Cup. Joel Matip also remains out, with the gaffer suggesting he’ll return to action in November.
Fellow centre back, Konaté, is in line for a return to full training on Monday, as is Keita who has been out of action for almost three months. Oxlade-Chamberlain meanwhile is fit and was even named on the bench against West Ham. He shouldn’t be far away from getting minutes.
Ramsay is likely to continue racking up minutes with the Upl21s after a half hour cameo during the week. Darwin Nunez is a doubt however, with Klopp revealing the Uruguayan received treatment on a tight hamstring yesterday. The final decision on his availability is yet to be made.
For Forest, Renan Lodi (ankle), Jack Colback (back), Lewis O’Brien (illness), Harry Toffolo (knock), Moussa Niakhate (groin) and Omar Richards (leg) are all expected to be out.
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