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(LIVE*) Live stream: Wolverhampton - Rennes 5 August 2023

As with last season, keeping the ball has been a problem. Couple that with poor goals conceded to Leeds and Rennes and it's not where supporters would hope to be, especially with Arsenal and other Premier League clubs producing good football in the Summer Series in America. The fact remains though that only a handful of players who started v Rennes should start at the Emirates. Only six who started against Leeds should if Awoniyi is fit.

Nottingham Forest defeat to Rennes highlights issues that must be addressedNottingham Forest ended last season on a wave of optimism after beating Arsenal to stay in the Premier League. It's fair to say optimism heading into the opening game of this season versus the same opponent is wavering for some after a 5-0 defeat to Rennes last night. Pre-season is about much more than results with Forest having won two of their six games so far. Scorelines are basically irrelevant but fans are concerned they are yet to see the best XI due to injuries with likely fringe players starting the penultimate friendly. Injuries to Brennan Johnson and Taiwo Awoniyi, who also missed a game due to visa issues, plus Morgan Gibbs-White's delayed arrival after his England heroics have restricted attacking options.

READ MORE: Nottingham Forest told City Ground atmosphere 'as good as anywhere' READ MORE: Arsenal winger 'can leave' as Nottingham Forest transfer interest emerges with a twist Cooper has mostly played the 5-2-2-1 formation that served him so well at the end of last season against big clubs with four of those to play in the opening four Premier League away games.

Last season Forest wanted James Garner but had to look elsewhere when Manchester United stalled - and then sold him to Everton anyway. This summer Forest are being patient with Tyler Adams and Wilfred Ndidi also on their list. Both are fine players, especially Adams, but concluding a deal for a key role in central midfield is a challenge. Make no mistake - Nottingham Forest's return to the Premier League was a roaring success. Staying in the division was the aspiration and the primary goal, and it was mission successful. There is no doubt that it was a turbulent first campaign back for Steve Cooper and his side, and now the emphasis will be on stability.

To mark another exciting season ahead Nottingham Forest, we have put together a bumper 48-page special for you to enjoy. Packed with insight, analysis, and special features, it really is the perfect guide to the season ahead. It costs £3, on sale for advance order on the online shop NOW and in retail outlets from July 26. What are you waiting for? You can order your copy right here Painful as it might feel, the time to judge Forest is not now. Judge where they are at when the transfer window closes after three Premier Leaugue games have been played.




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