Nottingham Forest and West Ham United square off at the City Ground on Sunday afternoon looking to bounce back from defeats on the opening weekend of the new Premier League campaign.
A day after Forest went down by a 2-0 scoreline at Newcastle United, West Ham succumbed to the same result at home to champions Manchester City.
Having witnessed their head coach make an array of new signings ahead of their long-awaited return to the top flight, Nottingham Forest supporters were optimistic about claiming a positive result at St James’ Park.
However, it soon became apparent that momentum from earning promotion is not everything as Forest were comfortably beaten by the Magpies.
Although their two goals came in the second half, there was a gulf in class between the two sides, and it reiterated Steve Cooper‘s point that he needed to bring in more fresh faces over the coming weeks.
While at least one high-profile deal appears to be in the pipeline, they will not be ready to start on Sunday, leaving it to Cooper’s current crop to raise their game in front of an expectant City Ground crowd.
Forest notched up victories over Arsenal and Leicester City in the FA Cup last season, something which they should take confidence from ahead of a showdown with the Hammers.
David Moyes may have thought that West Ham were facing Man City at the ideal time in the season ahead of their encounter at the London Stadium last weekend.
However, despite City losing out to Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of 2021-22, a repeat outcome never looked likely after the early stages as Erling Braut Haaland took centre stage.
West Ham were arguably fortunate to only concede twice against their juggernaut-like opponents, Moyes being full of praise for the manner in which City outclassed his own side.
The Scot will be satisfied that one of their toughest games of the season is already out of the way, and their campaign will be very much back on track if they can bounce back with maximum points in the East Midlands.
Going up against Jesse Lingard will dominate the headlines ahead of this contest with the former Manchester United man rejecting a second stint at West Ham to move to the Championship playoff winners.
Lingard is expected to retain his spot in a creative role, but Cooper may still make a number of changes to his Forest XI.
Orel Mangala and Taiwo Awoniyi are both in contention to make their first starts for the club, edging out Jack Colback and Sam Surridge respectively.
Even if Ryan Yates recovers from a knee injury in time for this contest, he is unlikely to be considered for a start.
West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is pushing to be fit after being withdrawn with a dead leg against Man City.
Maxwel Cornet should feature in the squad after his transfer from Burnley and is an option down the left-hand side.
If Craig Dawson does not come back into contention, Ben Johnson is expected to retain his place in the middle of the backline.
Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Worrall, Niakhate, McKenna; Williams, O’Brien, Mangala, Toffolo; Lingard; Awoniyi, Johnson
West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Johnson, Zouma, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio