Nigerian striker hands Premier League side relegation boost with return to training

Nigerian striker hands Premier League side relegation boost with return to training
Credit: Icon Sport

Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi is close to being available for selection once again having returned to first-team training.

Awoniyi had been out since mid-November with a groin problem he picked up while on international duty and subsequently missed out on a place in Nigeria's squad for the Africa Cup of Nations where the Super Eagles have made it through to the quarter-finals.

In his absence, Forest have only won three of their 15 matches across all competitions and currently sit 16th in the Premier League table, just four points clear of the drop zone.

Nuno Espirito's side have recently been charged with breaching Premier League sustainability rules and could be hit with a points deduction soon.

To make things worse for the Tricky Trees, they are currently facing a tough run of matches heading into the final stretch of the season.

Taiwo Awoniyi has a big job on his hands to keep his side afloat of relegation danger

Only five teams in the top tier of English football have scored found the back of the net on fewer occasions than Forest this term and the return of Awoiniyi, who has racked up four goals and two assists in 10 league outings, is a big boost for the Tricky Trees.

With Forest still in contention for the FA Cup, Awoniyi could potentially lead his side into the latter stages but they first have to navigate a fourth-round replay against Bristol City in early February.

It remains to be seen when Awoniyi will make his comeback to first-team action but his manager has hinted that he could be in contention to feature against Arsenal tonight.

“[Awoniyi] is in the process of recovering and getting the fitness levels right,” Nuno said.

“It was our decision to bring them to the group – instead of waiting for him to be 100 per cent ready, we decided to bring him in and after that, we will decide.”

 

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago

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