In a significant Premier League encounter, Nuno Espirito Santo makes his managerial return with Nottingham Forest, welcoming Bournemouth to the City Ground on Saturday.
The Tricky Trees, under new leadership, aim to reverse their recent fortunes against the in-form Cherries.
The City Ground will witness Nuno Espirito Santo’s return to the Premier League touchline after more than two years, taking charge of Nottingham Forest.
This comes after the departure of Steve Cooper following a 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur. Despite receiving weekly support from fans, Cooper’s tenure ended with five losses in six games.
Bournemouth’s clash with Luton Town faced an unsettling turn when it was abandoned at 1-1 due to Tom Lockyer’s cardiac arrest.
The Cherries, currently 14th in the table, are poised for a resilient return to top-flight duty following a stellar run over the winter period.
Santo, renowned for his success with Wolverhampton Wanderers, now takes charge of a Forest side placed 17th in the Premier League.
His task is to bring about a quick turnaround and end the club’s recent struggles. Bournemouth, on the other hand, seeks to continue their impressive away form and extend their unbeaten streak against Forest.
Santo’s managerial debut for Forest will be without Taiwo Awoniyi due to a long-term groin injury.
Several players, including Felipe, Serge Aurier, and Ibrahim Sangare, remain touch-and-go. Former Wolves pair Morgan Gibbs-White and Willy Boly are expected to feature.
Bournemouth, coping with the aftermath of Tom Lockyer’s distressing incident, sustains no fresh fitness concerns.
However, key players like Tyler Adams, Lloyd Kelly, and Max Aarons will be unavailable due to injuries. The Cherries continue to work on the fitness of players like Ryan Fredericks, Emiliano Marcondes, and Hamed Traore.
Possible Starting Lineups:
Nottingham Forest: (3-5-2)
Boly, Niakhate, Murillo;
Williams, Danilo, Yates, Mangala, Toffolo;
Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kerkez;
Tavernier, Billing, Kluivert;
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-2 Bournemouth
While Nottingham Forest looks to Santo for a resurgence, an in-form Bournemouth poses a challenging test for the Portuguese manager’s debut.
Bournemouth’s defensive solidity and Solanke’s goal-scoring form make them favorites to secure a victory at the City Ground.