Nottingham Forest host Burnley at the World Famous City Ground tonight at 7.45 pm. Here is Steve Cooper’s likely line-up for the game.
The Premier League is back! After a two-week international break, Nottingham Forest will be playing football again. This could be the opportunity to finally see the many new signings made by the club during a memorable Deadline Day. A lot of questions surround the line-up that Steve Cooper could field, with real puzzles in every position for the Welsh manager.
First and foremost, who will start in goal for Nottingham Forest? While new signing Matt Turner has performed well in the first four games, Nottingham Forest signed Odysseas Vlachodimos from Benfica on Deadline Day. And it seems clear that a goalkeeper of Odysseas Vlachodimos’ calibre did not join Nottingham Forest to sit on the bench.
It’s likely that both goalkeepers would have to compete in the wilderness to win the starting place in net but, in the current climate, it would seem rather unfair to immediately remove Matt Turner from the starting place when he certainly hasn’t left his place on the Arsenal bench to stay on the Nottingham Forest bench either.
As for the defence, a number of adjustments need to be made with the arrival of new signings. Ola Aina is expected to start at left-back. In the centre of defence, Felipe could finally start after making his return to the Nottingham Forest squad for the match against Chelsea following a lengthy injury lay-off. Alongside him, Joe Worrall is likely to start. The Nottingham Forest captain put in an outstanding performance at Stamford Bridge in Forest’s 0-1 win over Chelsea. Despite the arrivals of Andrew Omobamidele and Murillo, he probably deserves to keep his starting berth. At right-back, Serge Aurier is a doubt and, if his unavailability is confirmed, Gonzalo Montiel will probably start the game.
If Steve Cooper decides to play with a four-man defence, three midfielders should be lined up. Steve Cooper announced that Danilo would be doubtful to start against Burnley. Orel Mangala and Ryan Yates, meanwhile, are fully fit and should certainly start the match. The main question for the starting XI will be whether or not Steve Cooper decides to start Ibrahim Sangaré. The Ivorian midfielder played during PSV Eindhoven’s pre-season, as well as during their start to the season. So he’s fit, but perhaps Steve Cooper will prefer to integrate him slowly into the starting XI. However, with Danilo likely to be unavailable for tonight’s game, the likelihood of Ibrahim Sangaré starting against Burnley increases considerably.
Tonight’s game will be Nottingham Forest’s first at the World Famous City Ground without Brennan Johnson. While Morgan Gibbs-White and Taiwo Awoniyi should, of course, start, the choice of player to replace Brennan Johnson has yet to be decided. While Anthony Elanga, who has been in fine form in recent games, is the logical choice, it is unclear whether Steve Cooper will opt to field new signing Callum Hudson-Odoi against Burnley this evening. It is also important to add that Anthony Elanga has returned with a minor injury contracted with the Swedish national team and his availability is, as with Serge Aurier, in doubt for tonight’s game.
Predicted XI: Turner – Aina, Felipe, Worrall, Aurier (or Montiel) – Mangala, Yates, Sangaré – Gibbs-White, Awoniyi, Elanga (or Hudson-Odoi).