NOTTINGHAM FOREST VS. LIVERPOOL
| Saturday, October 22nd |
The City Ground | West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire
12:30PM BST/7:30AM EST
Nottingham Forest have had a mixed start to their time in the Premier League, but have had a difficult run of results of late. In their last five matches, they’ve failed to win — last picking up a win in the League Cup Second Round against Grimsby Town on August 23rd.
In the league they have played 11, won only one (v. West Ham), drawn three, and lost seven; they come into this match at the bottom of the table after Leicester’s result against Leeds, and they carry a goal difference of -16, the worst in the league. They do, however, come into this match having managed a draw and a clean sheet against Brighton & Hove Albion, who have been tough opposition for many (including the Reds).
Manager Steve Cooper will be without Harry Toffolo due to the left back’s hamstring injury in the previous match, as well as Moussa Niakhaté and Omar Richards, who remain absent from injury. Midfielder Lewis O’Brien might miss out due to recent illness, but is simply a doubt at this stage.
Though these two sides met in the League Cup last season, the last time they faced off in the league was on April 5th 1999 in a 2-2 draw at The City Ground. Liverpool will hope for a better result on their return.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Elliott; Salah, Firmino, Núñez
Liverpool seem to have turned things around recently, and the hope is that the side has enough mental and physical energy to keep the run going: there is no longer any wiggle room in the league, and even the top four race feels tight.
While many players have returned to full or partial training, with Curtis Jones managing to get minutes on the pitch and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain featuring on the bench, Jürgen Klopp still has to contend with some injury woes. Up front, strong performers Luis Díaz and Diogo Jota are sidelined with injury and are not expected back for some time. Joël Matip and Ibrahima Konaté are both in doubt, though will be returning soon. Naby Keïta is back in partial training, and will be assessed ahead of the weekend.
Klopp might choose to make some small alterations to the “strongest” starting line-up reflecting the tightness of the schedule and certain players maybe not being 100% given the turnaround from Wednesday, the manager will equally be grateful for the option of five subs.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “A lot of things are clear. The atmosphere will be outstanding, I’m 100 per cent sure. I like that as an experience, to have it as well; because it’s one thing to talk about because everybody tells you, and one thing to experience yourself. But of course when we faced them last time they were full of confidence, they were really flying and we felt that. It was a well-trained team, which they still are, but in that moment all the pieces fell in place pretty much. That’s different this season but that makes it even more difficult because now the spirit will be at 100 per cent, they will fight for everything, they want to change their situation and that’s what we have to accept.”
Steve Cooper: “We’ve got to thrive on these matches and be excited by it, playing at home in front of our supporters at our stadium. I want to approach the game thinking about what we can do and there’ll be no fear from us.”
Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Timothy Wood Fourth Official: Graham Scott VAR: Mike Dean Assistant VAR: Simon Long
Kickoff is set for 12:30PM BST/7:30AM EST tomorrow. Stick with The Liverpool Offside team to keep yourself up to date with team news and match buildup, live updates, and post-match reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.