News Matches
African All Stars

Awoniyi & Dennis benched as Kouyate makes first Premier League start in Nottingham Forest's clash with Manchester City

20:53 GMT+3 31/08/2022
Awoniyi, Dennis
The Senegal international is one of changes to Steve Cooper’s starting XI, with new signings the Nigerians on the bench against the Citizens

Cheikhou Kouyate will make his first Premier League start for Nottingham Forest in their clash with Manchester City on Wednesday evening.

The Senegal international has been named in Steve Cooper’s starting XI for the match against Pep Guardiola’s men.

Since his move to the City Ground, the former Crystal Palace player has featured in two league games for the Reds – all coming as a substitute.

Against the Citizens, however, he will start in a three-man defence alongside Scott McKenna and Joe Worrall.

Meanwhile, Nigeria internationals Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis would be hoping for action as substitutes.

Both players were in action against Tottenham Hotspur but could not prevent Forest from losing 2-0 to Antonio Conte’s side.

Former France youth international of Senegalese descent Moussa Niakhate did not make the cut, as he is yet to recover from a thigh injury.

On the other side, Algeria international Riyad Mahrez is among City’s nine substitutes, with Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland, and Phil Foden shouldering goalscoring responsibilities for Guardiola’s men.

After their slump against Spurs, Cooper stated that he wants his players to turn positive performances into results, especially against one of Europe's best.

"Let's not shy away from the fact that this can be one of the toughest games in world football on the domestic stage," said Cooper told the club website.

"These are the games you want to be part of at this level and it's a challenge we want to embrace. We have to go there believing in ourselves and believing in our plan to give a good account of ourselves.

"It's a busy week with three games in seven days including playing two Champions League teams, it's a tough ask but we've always attacked challenges head on and we won't be any different this week.

"We've looked at Sunday's game back and there's some things we did very well and there's aspects we need to be better at, both with and without the ball and that work is continuing.

"We're preparing the same as we would for any game, with our analysis and where we think we can do well and Man City play a completely different way to Tottenham so it'll be a different type of game.”

Heading into this showdown, the English top-flight newcomers occupy the 14th spot in the log having accrued four points from four matches played so far.