Home News Forest to rely on “third-choice left-back” vs. Salah – and no Origi...

Forest to rely on “third-choice left-back” vs. Salah – and no Origi reunion

7
0

Liverpool host Nottingham Forest in the Premier League this weekend, and the game could well be decided by key duels out wide.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side beat Everton 2-0 in their last league outing, prior to their Europa League victory against Toulouse, with the matches coming thick and fast.

Liverpool next assignment sees them welcome Forest to Anfield on Sunday afternoon, with the Reds winning 3-2 in a nervy corresponding fixture last season.

Steve Cooper’s men are currently 15th in the table, following a mixed bag of results, and a home win is essential for the Merseysiders in the title race.

Ahead of Sunday’s match, This Is Anfield’s Henry Jackson got in touch with journalist Matt Davies (@MattDavies_NP) to discuss Forest’s form, Liverpool’s title hopes and more.

 

How pleased are you with Nottingham Forest’s start to the season?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 23, 2023: Nottingham Forest's manager Steve Cooper applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Nottingham Forest FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Man City won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Obviously drawing with Luton after being 2-0 up was a bit of a nightmare.

With those two points, Nottingham would have been 11th and feeling happy, but it did take the shine off a good start overall, especially away from home against the top clubs.

We need to do more at home against teams we’re expected to beat, which this game certainly isn’t.

 

Are you confident that they will preserve their Premier League status?

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 20, 2022: A general view before the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Yes, definitely. The three promoted teams and Bournemouth are really struggling.

Everton don’t look anything special, either, and Wolves and Fulham could yet slide down the table.

Really, it’s two leagues in one this season – the top six or seven with Brighton, Villa and West Ham looking to challenge them, and then the rest.

 

Who are Forest’s key players this season?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 23, 2023: Nottingham Forest's Morgan Gibbs-White during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Nottingham Forest FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Taiwo Awoniyi would be one but he’s injured. Beyond that, Ibrahim Sangare comes with a big price tag but he’s yet to shine.

Morgan Gibbs-White hasn’t quite hit the heights of last season, but he remains a top talent.

 

What’s one thing you would change at Forest?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 23, 2023: Nottingham Forest's Divok Origi during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Nottingham Forest FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We’re short of depth in attack after selling Brennan Johnson.

Callum Hudson Odoi and Awoniyi are injured, as is Divock Origi (need some of his Liverpool form when fit), so it’s down to Gibbs-White, Anthony Elanga and Chris Wood to deliver.

If we could add a winger that would be good.

 

What’s your take on VAR? In favour of it?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: A goal scored by Liverpool's Luis Díaz, given on the pitch as offside, is mistakenly confiemd by VAR who believe the onfield decision was a goal, during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is still full of human error with every team getting bad decisions, so it’s no better than before really.

It has helped with offsides and to an extent handballs, but it still comes down to a human making the decisions and those haven’t been good enough this season.

 

Which Liverpool player would you most like at Forest currently?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Díaz during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Everyone would say Mo Salah I guess so to go elsewhere and not be boring, Forest are short of a winger really with only Hudson-Odoi and Elanga in the squad.

For that reason, if I can’t have Salah, Luis Diaz would be good, or I would ask Diogo Jota to play wide left.

 

Looking ahead to Sunday, where will the key battles take place?

2T2RG53 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday October 21, 2023.

Salah vs. Harry Toffolo. The latter has been great for Forest, but he’s arguably their third-choice left-back.

On the other side, Serge Aurier needs to step up against Diaz, but I think Forest will give Liverpool a good game in midfield and will hold their own there.

Murillo vs. Darwin Nunez will be good if the Reds striker starts.

 

Finally, what’s your prediction?

I fully expect Liverpool to win, but Forest have been good away from home.

I will say 2-0 or 2-1 to the Reds.