Nottingham Forest host Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday.
Nott’m Forest can move level on points with their forthcoming opponents with a victory.
Having signed 15 first-team players and counting during the summer transfer window so far, Steve Cooper should be pleased with already having four points on the board from their opening three matches.
They were disappointing on the opening day away to Newcastle United – who held reigning champions Manchester City to a 3-3 draw at St James’ Park last weekend – but have reacted well with a home win against West Ham United before claiming a point at Everton last time out.
Brennan Johnson looked to have snatched a second successive victory for his side by scoring his first Premier League goal with only nine minutes of normal time remaining, but Demarai Gray latched onto a long punt forwards from Jordan Pickford to rescue a draw for the Toffees.
No team will relish travelling to the City Ground this season, with only Liverpool winning there this calendar year in last season’s FA Cup quarter-final tie. However, Tottenham undoubtedly represent a step-up in class from any side Forest have faced since returning to the Premier League for the first time this century.
Indeed, despite performing far from their best during most of their three matches so far, the fact that Tottenham have still put seven points on the board may feel a little ominous for their rivals.
Only Man City and Liverpool have gained more points than Spurs since Antonio Conte took over last October, and there is a growing feeling that they could be the best-placed team to break that duo’s stranglehold on the division, even if their north London rivals Arsenal have made the perfect start to the 2022-23 season themselves.
Conte’s side had fewer shots and possession at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out, but a clever corner routine saw Ivan Perisic flick on a header at the near post, with Harry Kane ruthlessly dispatching in the air at the back post to double his tally for the season and claim a crucial victory for his side.
Given Forest’s formidable home record under Cooper, Spurs may require a better performance if they are to record successive wins, but there does seem to be plenty of more gears for them to move into as the season progresses.
Cooper made 11 changes for his side’s trip to Grimsby Town in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, showcasing Forest’s newly-found strength in depth.
Sam Surridge scored twice in the 3-0 victory but the former Swansea City boss is likely to stick with Taiwo Awoniyi as the team’s focal point, but Morgan Gibbs-White could make his first start for the club having impressed from the bench at Goodison Park.
Remo Freuler and Emmanuel Dennis both made their debuts against Grimsby but they may have to be patient before starting league games following their moves from Atalanta and Watford respectively, while Moussa Niakhate and Omar Richards remain sidelined through injury.
Tottenham, meanwhile, have benefitted from a week off, but Cristian Romero will not feature despite his adductor injury not being as serious as first feared.
The Argentina defender missed last week’s win against Wolves, and Conte clearly feels it is too early in the season to be risking such a key player.
Likewise, Oliver Skipp is expected to be given time to recover from a hairline fracture in his heel, while Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil may not make the trip after missing Friday’s training session with minor knocks, so it could be the same starting XI which marginally dispatched Wolves.
Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Worrall, Cook, McKenna; Williams, Mangala, O’Brien, Toffolo; Gibbs-White; Johnson, Awoniyi
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic; Kulusevski, Son; Kane