Nigerian forwards, Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis, will be keen to help Nottingham Forest qualify for the EFL Cup quarter-finals as they resume competitive action on Wednesday (today) facing off against Blackburn Rovers in the fourth round.
The Reds set up a clash with their Championship opponents by eliminating Tottenham Hotspur from this competition last month earning a 2-0 win despite being down to ten men.
At a time when Forest occupy 18th spot in the Premier League, Blackburn continue to hold third position in the Championship.
Nottingham Forest were one of the clubs who did not want the World Cup break to arrive as Steve Cooper’s men registered successive victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace.
Those results represented the first time that Forest had recorded back-to-back wins all season, but it feels that momentum has disappeared in recent weeks.
Steve Cooper’s side lost three friendlies in a row to Stoke City, Atromitos and Olympiacos before getting the better of Valencia by a 2-1 scoreline last Friday with the Nigeria internationals in the team stealing the show.
Awoniyi and Dennis both got on the scoresheet against the Spanish giants to boost Cooper’s and Forest’s mood heading into their return to competitive action and all Forest faithfuls will be hoping the Super Eagles can find their goalscoring touch against Blackburn also.
Awoniyi scored the opening goal of the game after a chaotic collision in the Valencia defence allowed him to round the keeper and slot home into an empty net.
The home side drew level after the break thanks to a goal from Hugo Duro, but fell behind again after a calm finish from Emmanuel Dennis fifteen minutes later.
With Manchester United and Chelsea to follow in the Premier League, Cooper will be eager to see his players produce a strong performance against the opponents.
Since joining the Reds earlier this year, Awoniyi has managed to find the back of the net on three occasions in the top-flight. Having helped Forest secure a famous victory over Liverpool by scoring the winning goal at the City Ground in October, the forward will be determined to fire his side into the next round of the League Cup tomorrow.
Blackburn however would not allow the Nigerian duo to do as they like after they played prevailed in a penalty shootout against West Ham United following a highly entertaining 2-2 draw setting up an opportunity to reach the last eight of this competition for the first time in 11 years.
Blackburn will be confident of securing another Premier League scalp. However, with respect Forest’s superior quality and form before the break, should Awoniyi and Dennis shine, Nottingham will have reason to smile.