Steve Cooper faces fresh injury concerns ahead of Nottingham Forest’s key clash against Premier League strugglers Bournemouth.
After an impressive derby win against Leicester on the weekend, the win may have come at a cost of a key player which could give Cooper a selection headache ahead of the Cherries fixture.
Goalkeeper Dean Henderson kept an impressive clean sheet on Saturday but now looks set to miss three to four weeks with a thigh injury sustained in the game.
With the January transfer window in full swing, it is understood Forest may dip into the market to consider signing another goalkeeper.
#nffc goalkeeper Dean Henderson set to miss 3-4 weeks with a thigh injury sustained in Leicester game on Sat. Wayne Hennessey expected to deputise but Forest may consider signing another goalkeeper. In other news, Danilo has completed his medical ahead of £16m move from Palmeiras
— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) January 16, 2023
Ryan Yates also suffered a hit to the face against the Foxes and is still being assessed ahead of the clash against Bournemouth, which is crucial in the race for survival.
With Forest also progressing to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, rotation is in the mix and risks will want to be minimised as they’ll be facing a two-legged clash with in-form Manchester United.
Ben Dore, creator of popular Forest fan channel ‘Dore on Tour’, has said the game on the weekend is massive and is confident despite fresh injuries.
Dore said: “Massive game against Bournemouth, we are in this mini-league with them and we need to get away from that bottom three.
“I have massive faith in our back-up keeper Wayne Hennessy due to his Premier League experience.
“Don’t get me wrong, Henderson is a big miss but I do believe Hennessy can do his bit in Forest’s survival.”
He added that new boy Gustavo Scarpa should start again.
“I think he will start because he’s the type of player we need right now with his passing, movement and creative spark, but he still does need time to adjust.”
The reverse fixture in September was a 3-2 thriller in favour of the Cherries, but Dore believes this will swing towards the Reds.
“This game has a Forest win written over it all day long, but look what happened at the City Ground, so let’s see.
“It’s definitely a big game.”
Predicted line-up: 4-3-1-2
Goalkeeper: Wayne Hennessey
Dean Henderson’s injury should clear the way for veteran Hennessey, who has only one Premier League appearance this season which was a 3-0 hammering against Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United.
Right back: Serge Aurier
Arriving from a free transfer in the summer, Aurier has been consistent since joining and should retain his place against Bournemouth.
Centre back: Joe Worrall
The 26 year old has been a staple part of Forest’s defence this season once again.
Centre back: Scott McKenna
An injury to Willy Boly against Wolves has left the French defender side-lined and Cooper may not want to rush him back keeping the clash against United in mind. McKenna is next in line.
Left back: Renan Lodi
The Atletico Madrid loanee has been part of the left-hand side all season long, and his solid performances have spiked conversations about activating his reported £26.5 million clause to make the deal permanent.
Right central midfielder: Jack Colback
Due to Ryan Yates’ blow to the head, Forest won’t want to risk the player against a Bournemouth side who have lost their last six games and haven’t won since the culmination of the World Cup.
Colback put in a decent performance as a half-time substitute against Leicester City as well, so should be trusted to continue that at the Vitality Stadium.
Centre midfielder: Remo Freuler
New boy Danilo may make the bench if deemed ready by Cooper, but won’t come in for Freuler, who has been consistent in that midfield role after being signed from Atalanta in the summer.
Left central midfielder: Orel Mangala
Since the the resumption of domestic football after the World Cup, the Belgian has normally featured in the first hour before being substituted, and looks set to start again against the Cherries.
Attacking midfielder: Gustavo Scarpa
Scarpa has been eased into the team since joining on a free from Palmeiras in late December 2022.
Despite being substituted on his Premier League debut for Sam Surridge, he should make the team again to build some confidence against one of the league’s worst sides currently.
Striker: Brennan Johnson
The bright Welsh forward should start after bagging a derby day brace, and will have his sights on getting a few past the Cherries.
Striker: Morgan Gibbs-White
Gibbs-White has finally got going for Forest and with Taiwo Awoniyi out, there’s not much doubt that the former Wolves player will start in that striker role rather than the 10 to allow Scarpa to continue getting his grasp on English football.