Cooper urges Forest to believe

Steve Cooper

Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper knows his side will be facing a “brilliant” opponent when they take on Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter finals on Sunday, but he has urged his players to believe (Forest 11/1, Draw 9/2, Liverpool 2/7 – Match Betting).

The Championship playoff contenders will certainly be the underdogs for the tie at the City Ground, but they will head into the match having already knocked out two Premier League teams en route to the last eight in Arsenal and Leicester City.

There is certainly a feel-good factor at Forest under Cooper, who has lost just four of his 31 matches since taking charge in September, guiding the Tricky Trees from the bottom of the Championship standings to the cusp of the playoffs.

Forest are also unbeaten in their previous nine home matches, winning eight of those games, but they will arguably be taking on Europe’s form team on Sunday, as Liverpool have lost just one of their 18 matches since the turn of the year.

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Jurgen Klopp’s side remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple this season, a hope they will be looking to keep intact on Sunday, and Cooper knows Forest will have to be at their very best if they are to cause another cup shock.

“The objective throughout the cup competitions is always to progress into the next round and Sunday’s game is one we’re really looking forward to,” Cooper told the club’s official website.

“Liverpool have been brilliant to watch and we all admire the way they play. It’s one of the toughest games you can play, so we’re going to have to be ready for it.

“We understand it is a little bit different this time because of the level of the opponent, but we can’t change our approach and we still want to get success in the game.”

The match at the City Ground will round off Sunday’s FA Cup action, with the other two fixtures being all-Premier League affairs.

In the early kick off, Crystal Palace will take on Everton at Selhurst Park – the Toffees will head into that match with renewed confidence after boosting their survival hopes in the Premier League with a much-needed 1-0 victory over Newcastle United on Thursday (Crystal Palace 10/11, Draw 13/5, Everton 10/3 – Match Betting).

Following that, league leaders Manchester City will travel to St Mary’s Stadium to take on Southampton. Pep Guardiola’s side could be in for a tough afternoon on the south coast, as they have failed to beat the Saints in their two previous meetings this season (Southampton 17/2, Draw 9/2, Man City 1/3 – Match Betting).

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