Steve Coopers’ Nottingham Forest has been handed a difficult opening weekend fixture against an Arsenal side expected to push for Premier League honors once again, as the two sides clash at the Emirates at Saturday lunchtime.
Last time out, Forest did get the better of the Gunners at the City Ground in a 1-0 win, exacting revenge over an Arsenal side that ran rampant in the reverse fixture earlier in the season to the tune of a 5-0 drubbing in the capital.
Forest traveling support will welcome five new additionals into the senior side on the opening day as well, with the club splashing a combined £36m on Anthony Elanga, Chris Wood, Matt Turner, and Ola Aina.
Though pre-season has not gone according to plan for Forest, they could take some semblance of confidence into proceedings given their performance against Arsenal in May.
Unfortunately for Forest and Steve Cooper, a swath of injury concerns has already hit the club going into opening weekend, with no less than five expected to be unavailable for selection.
Defensive trio Felipe, Omar Richards, and Moussa Niakhaté are all unfit for service, while last season’s top scorer in Taiwo Awoniyi is also ruled out on account of a number of simultaneous injury concerns.
Keeper Wayne Hennessey is also ruled out, which likely means new signing Matt Turner will take up his position in goal against his former employers to kick-start the new season.