Head Coach Steve Cooper has raised concerns over the participation of Taiwo Awoniyi in Nottingham Forest’s much-anticipated Premier League opener against Arsenal this weekend, Soccernet.ng reports.
Kicking off their 2023/24 campaign with a formidable face-off against Arsenal on Saturday at 12:30 pm, Nottingham Forest boast a contingent of Super Eagles stars, including Ola Aina, Emmanuel Dennis, and Taiwo Awoniyi.
However, Awoniyi’s availability for the clash against the Gunners is in jeopardy due to an ongoing ankle injury.
The Nigerian striker, who has been grappling with an ankle knock, is said to be “just about returning to training.”
Despite his progress, head coach Steve Cooper has indicated that the confrontation at Emirates Stadium might come too soon for Awoniyi’s return to full form.
In response to inquiries regarding the team’s readiness, Cooper remarked (as per Nottingham Post), “Felipe, for sure. Moussa is just about returning to training, and so is Taiwo, so the game probably comes too soon for them.”
Arsenal won the corresponding fixture at the Emirates last season.
During that encounter, Awoniyi and Dennis were on the field as the Gunners secured an impressive 5-0 win.
However, the script flipped during the reverse fixture at The City Ground, where Awoniyi netted a game-winning goal in the 19th minute, leading Nottingham to a memorable 1-0 triumph.
This victory not only quashed Arsenal’s title aspirations but also sealed Manchester City’s champion status in May.
Having switched from Union Berlin to Nottingham Forest last summer, Awoniyi wrapped up his inaugural Premier League campaign with ten goals.
His contributions were pivotal in guiding the Reds away from relegation peril.