10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest are this weekend’s visitors to Anfield, as Liverpool aim to build on their impressive winning display against Leeds.

Liverpool vs. Nottingham Forest

Premier League (31) | Anfield
April 22, 2023 | 3pm (BST)

Monday’s rout of Leeds provided welcome relief for Liverpool fans after five games without a win.

Although the impressive nature of the 6-1 victory inspired confidence among supporters, it is no sure sign of redemption as the Reds have offered several false glimpses of hope this season.

In this instance, they will again be attempting to kick on from a big win, and Forest at Anfield is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Here are 10 things you need to know ahead of the Reds’ 31st Premier League game of the season.


1. A blow for Bobby

Roberto Firmino was the only new name to be added to Liverpool’s injury list.

The Brazilian has played a part in each of the last four matches but will now miss the next three.

Jurgen Klopp said: “Unfortunately, Bobby picked up a muscle issue a little bit. We will see how long that takes.

“It’s not too serious but he’s definitely out for tomorrow. And next week, we have two more games, I would say they are impossible as well.”


2. First-time relegation on the cards

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 20, 2022: Nottingham Forest's Neco Williams during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Without a win in 10, Forest are in danger of being relegated from the Premier League in their first season playing top-flight football season since 1999.

Cynics might say signing 30 players in one season is a bad idea – they would be right.

It hasn’t been all negative for Forest this season: Steve Cooper’s side have picked up just two points less than Chelsea at home this season.

However, they have struggled to maintain any consistency and, as a result, find themselves in the relegation zone with just seven games left.

They visit Anfield with the poorest away record in the top flight.

Yes, even worse than ours!


3. A hint on Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) speaks with Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Champions League, Group A match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Tuesday October 4, 2022.

In Klopp’s pre-match press conference, he hinted that Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s new role could be here to stay,

The manager insisted that the 24-year-old’s more central position isn’t “written in stone,” but did admit he “has the potential to play there.”

The boss explained how “this slightly advanced role, in this moment, suits him really well.”

Klopp added: “If Trent shows up there [vs. Forest], we will see. It’s not the solution for all the football problems this year but he has the potential to play there, that’s clear.

“It’s absolutely fine, we’ll see where it leads to.”


4. Thiago for Jones?

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After a brilliant second-half display against Leeds, Klopp will be tempted to stick with the same team.

It is probable that he will keep things very similar, but Curtis Jones may drop out due to ongoing fitness limitations that could restrict his minutes.

However, if he is fit, good form means that Jones would likely remain in the team or at least play against West Ham in the next match.

Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Konate, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Gakpo


5. The Fabinho tightrope

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 5, 2023: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' speaks with the referee during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 7-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fabinho has two games to avoid picking up a yellow card that would see him serve a two-match suspension.

The Brazilian has nine bookings in the league this season – seven in his last nine matches – and will be banned for two games should he be shown a yellow card against Forest or West Ham.

After those next two fixtures, his previous cards will be wiped.

Amazingly, the holding midfielder has never been booked more than seven times in an entire Premier League campaign, his most being last term – prior to that his highest was six.


6. An end to tragedy chanting please

Vile chanting about tragedies, in particular the Hillsborough disaster, has been highlighted in recent weeks and Forest supporters have taken note.

Opposition fans will hold up a 30-foot banner at Anfield that reads: ‘Respect The 97, Solidarity With Survivors, No To Tragedy Chanting’.

Hopefully, it will send a message.


7. Who is the referee?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, August 9, 2019: referee Michael Oliver sends his assistant off the field for a replacement battery delaying the start of the second half during the opening FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Michael Oliver takes charge of this one, with his assistants Stuart Burt and Dan Cook.

Paul Tierney, who was the referee when Liverpool lost to Forest earlier this season, is the lead VAR while Anthony Taylor is on fourth-official duties.

Oliver has already refereed four Liverpool matches this season, and the Reds have failed to win any of them.


8. Pressing is “the ticket”

MADRID, SPAIN - Wednesday, March 15, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez (R) and Diogo Jota (C) are substituted by manager Jürgen Klopp during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg game between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Madrid won 1-0 (6-2 on aggregate). (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With six senior forwards all fighting for a spot in the starting XI, Klopp has to make difficult decisions on who to leave out.

Currently, his preferred front three consists of Mo Salah, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota. This leaves Darwin Nunez and Firmino on the bench, though the latter is injured for this match anyway.

The three starters will likely be selected due to their pressing ability, with Klopp explaining: “The ticket into this team will be about counter-pressing, that’s where it starts.

“We’ve had so many games that I didn’t like that, it’s a pretty strict thing. The front six can do it pretty well but we have opportunities to change.”


9. Did you know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 7, 1997: Liverpool's Michael Owen in action against Manchester United during the FA Youth Cup match at Anfield. United won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool and Forest last met at Anfield in October 1998, when the hosts won 5-1 in the league with Michael Owen scoring four.

Saturday’s opposition have scored only five away league goals all season, making a first league double in 60 years, for Forest over Liverpool, a difficult task.

In fact, Forest have taken just five points from their last 23 league visits to Anfield.


10. Follow the match with TIA

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 25, 2023: A general view of Anfield looking towards the redevelopment of the Anfield Road stand before the LFC Foundation match between Liverpool FC Legends and Glasgow Celtic FC Legends at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Nottingham Forest won’t be broadcast on UK television, but don’t worry!

You can keep up to date with the game at This Is Anfield.

TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 2.15pm, with Sam Millne tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.

Come on you Reds!