Liverpool v Nottingham Forest - PL Preview
This Saturday afternoon sees former two-time European Cup winners, Nottingham Forest, travel to Anfield for a vital matchup between two sides desperately seeking maximum points. The reverse fixture ended with the recently promoted team winning 1-0, which turned out to be just one of many upsets for Jürgen Klopp this season. Revenge is on the agenda for the home team, whilst survival is all the visitors are hoping to achieve.
Nottingham Forest are in serious danger of being relegated, despite spending an eye-watering amount of money this season. They currently lie in 18th place in the Premier League, with a mere 27 points taken from their 31 games played. Their last three games have all ended in defeat, with fellow strugglers, Leeds, beating them 2-1 at Elland Road, before they lost 2-0 at Villa Park. Their most recent match had them losing 2-0 at home to Manchester United. With some horrible form coming into this (before a difficult match against Brighton next week), the pathway to survival is not a good one for their manager, Steve Cooper. In terms of injuries, Giulian Biancone, Chris Wood, Willy Boly, Serge Aurier, Gustavo Furtado Scarpa, Dean Henderson, Ryan Yates, Cheikhou Kouyate, and Omar Richards, are all out for this game.
The starting line-up will see Keylor Navas start in goal. Joe Worrall will be hoping for a recall to the back three, with Felipe and Moussa Niakhaté alongside him. Neco Williams will start at right wing-back with Renan Lodi on the left. Danilo will retain his central midfield berth, with Jonjo Shelvey hoping to start beside him. Morgan Gibbs-White or Jesse Lingard will start in attacking midfield behind Brennan Johnson and Taiwo Awoniyi. The 3-4-3 is likely to be persevered with, though the large squad could well be shuffled about as they search for answers.
Liverpool come into this game on the back of their superb 1-6 win away to Leeds. That emphatic victory came after a 2-2 draw at home to Arsenal and a 0-0 result away to Chelsea. The system alterations seem to have given Trent Alexander Arnold a new lease of life, whilst making their on and off-ball patterns of play less predictable. The Reds currently reside in 8th position in the Premier League, with a disappointing 47 points from their own 31 games played.
In terms of the Anfield injuries, Calvin Ramsay and Stefan Bajčetić are definitely out, whereas Luis Díaz is now ready for a start. Naby Keïta is no longer be in contention for first-team football, therefore will probably sit out the remainder of the season. Thiago Alcantara is back in the hunt for a starting shirt, therefore could be in the first eleven for this game.
Alisson Becker will retain his duties in goal, with Virgil and Ibrahima Konaté in central defence. Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold will start at fullback, with the right back given the freedom to venture into midfield. Fabinho and Thiago should start this game, with Curtis Jones or the skipper, Jordan Henderson, starting alongside them. A box midfield will likely evolve in possession, allowing Trent to form a double pivot in front of the back three. The attack will see Mohamed Salah start, with Darwin Núñez surely set for a recall. Diogo Jota has enjoyed a rich vein of form, though a full roster of attacking talent is vying for a place on the team. It could be that Diaz starts this game along with Mo & Darwin to form a formidable front three.
The Reds looked a different animal for most of the last two games, which should see them overcome a shaky and uncertain Forest. The attacking output and overwhelming numbers of the home team should see a comfortable home win avail, with goals likely in abundance.
Player to watch – Trent Alexander Arnold
Liverpool 4 – 0 Nottingham Forest