Nottingham Forest are always busy in the transfer window but their wheeling and dealing has not always produced the desired results to this point and they face another tough test when they visit Bournemouth on Sunday.
Forest went down 2-1 to Arsenal in their midweek game and they have now lost 12 of their 22 Premier League contests this season, winning only three of their last 21 matches in all competitions.
Bournemouth’s season has been going pretty smoothly since November and they have won eight of their last 12 fixtures, although they have taken only one point from their last three league matches.
Can Dominic Solanke force his way into the England squad for Euro 2024?
Harry Kane is the undisputed starting striker for England, we all know that. But over the past few years, there’s been a battle raging to be his understudy. The likes of Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and, most recently, Callum Wilson have all staked their claim, but the position is not set in stone.
This season, there is quite simply nobody putting forth a better case than Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke.
After a tough time at Liverpool and even a slow start to life on the south coast, Solanke has exploded into life this season, bagging 13 Premier League goals in 21 appearances to sit behind only Erling Haaland and Mohamed Salah (both 14) in the Golden Boot race.
The 26-year-old has been a fox in the box for the Cherries and has also led the line brilliantly to help Andoni Iraola’s men fly up the Premier League table. Now, he’s being tipped to sneak into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s Euros by 56-time former England international Joe Cole.
“I’m always pleased for any footballer fulfilling their potential. He’s one of them players who is a natural finisher,” Cole said. “You’ve just got to find your level. At times you can maybe have a bit of self-doubt – ‘am I going to be a Championship player?’ – but he stuck at it. He’s a top-drawer Premier League player now.
“No Englishman has scored as many goals as him. He’s becoming the player we all thought he could be. He’s a great lad, he’s leading the line, and there will be some suitors looking at him.
“You can’t disregard England as well. There is a tournament this summer and his name is right in the hat for that as well.”
Solanke — who has just one senior cap to date — will fancy his chances of once again catching Southgate’s eye on Sunday given he’s been involved in six goals in his last four league appearances against Nottingham Forest (4 goals, 2 assists), netting a hat-trick in the Cherries’ 3-2 win in the reverse fixture this term.
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Bournemouth vs Nottingham Forest team news
Bournemouth’s James Hill (ankle), Max Aarons (calf), Ryan Fredericks (calf) and Tyler Adams (thigh) are still out of action but Dango Ouattara could be involved again after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Cherries have bolstered their attacking options by signing striker Enes Unal on loan from Getafe but the Turkey international may not be ready to make his debut in this game.
Forest could make changes after their defeat to Arsenal with loan signings Giovanni Reyna and Rodrigo Ribeiro available, along with Nuno Tavares who was ineligible to play against the Gunners.
Moussa Niakhate and Cheikhou Kouyate are also in contention after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations, but Willy Boly, Ola Aina and Ibrahim Sangare are all still with their national teams. Divock Origi (groin) is injured but Taiwo Awoniyi scored against Arsenal on his return from a groin issue. Serge Aurier has left for Galatasaray.
Bournemouth vs Nottingham Forest predicted line-ups
Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Neto; Smith, Senesi, Zabarnyi, Kerkez; Cook, Christie; Tavernier, Scott, Semenyo; Solanke.
Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1): Turner; Montiel, Omobamidele, Murillo, Toffolo; Danilo, Yates; Dominguez, Gibbs-White, Elanga; Wood.