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Sports News of Wednesday, 4 January 2023


Saints vs Forest: Aribo battles Awoniyi, Dennis

Taiwo Awoniyi Taiwo Awoniyi

Nottingham Forest will be banking on in-form Super Eagles striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, to pile more misery on Southampton, who parade Joe Aribo, when they visit the Saint Mary’s stadium in a Premier League game on Wednesday, PUNCH Sports Extra report.

The Saints suffered an agonising 2-1 defeat to Fulham in their most recent battle, while Steve Cooper’s side deservedly hung on for a 1-1 draw at home against Chelsea.

Awoniyi was a thorn in the flesh of the Chelsea defence and was denied a chance of scoring on two occasions but was adjudged the Man-of-The-Match for his brilliant displays.

He will also be aiming to end his four-game goals drought in the Premier League encounter.

Now at the risk of suffering a sixth consecutive defeat in England’s topflight, Aribo and his Southampton teammates enter 2023 as the division’s worst-performing home team with a mere six points from a possible 24 at St Mary’s, while also conceding a league-high 15 goals on their own patch so far.

The Saints prepare for their first match of the New Year sitting rock bottom of the standings, but only two points separate them from the safety of 17th place as at the time of writing.

Speaking ahead of the game, the former Union Berlin star hopes his side gets back to winning ways after their outstanding performance against the Blues.

“We did well against Chelsea and we hope we can get a win in our next game,” Awoniyi said.

While happily accepting a point against the Blues, Cooper admitted that his side arguably should have come away with all three, and as a result they remain below the dotted line in 18th place, but only behind West Ham United on goals difference.

Two defeats in seven is hardly a disastrous record for Nottingham Forest, especially when those most recent losses came away to Arsenal and Manchester United, but they remain without a Premier League win on the road this term and have now embarrassingly failed to score in their last six topflight games on rival turfs.