Nottingham Forest team news and predicted lineup vs Chelsea

Another big clash awaits for the newly promoted side

After a chastening return to Premier League action with a 3-0 defeat to Manchester United, Forest’s task does not get much easier as they take on Chelsea on New Years Day.

Only a point away from safety despite a tricky start to the season, there remains belief that the midlands outfit will have enough to avoid the drop, but they need to start picking up results sooner rather than later, with the club still a massive 27 points (9 wins) away from the magical 40 point mark that usually ensures survival.

They welcome a Chelsea side still searching for an identity, and for goals, with no top half Premier League side having scored fewer than the Blues’ 19 so far this campaign. However, with their ambitions set firmly on a top 4 spot this season after a poor start to the season, they will be no easy opposition.

Predicted XI

Team News

Forest and Cooper could be without as many as seven first team options when they host the Blues on the opening day of 2023, but will be boosted by the return of Dean Henderson, who was ineligible to face parent club Manchester United.

The only new injury concern from the defeat to the Red Devils is Jesse Lingard, who was forced off with injury in the second half. Steve Cooper explained that “Jesse walked off the other night, and we’re still waiting for that to settle down, in terms of the exact damage, if any at all”, leaving him a doubt for the clash with Graham Potter’s side.

Also a doubt is Morgan Gibbs-White, with the Forest record signing still suffering from a leg injury and likely to be subject to a late fitness test.

Meanwhile, new signing Gustavo Scarpa will not be eligible, but is likely to make his debut in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Cheikhou Kouyate was the only injury worry over the World Cup period, with the Senegal midfielder picking up a hamstring injury in his nation’s tournament opener.

He joins a growing injury list which includes a long term issue for Gianluca Biancome, a calf problem for Omar Richards, as well as an injury to Moussa Niakhate.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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