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Ready for the challenge

19 September 2016

Philippe Montanier says his Nottingham Forest players are excited to take on one of the biggest teams in Europe when they face Arsenal in the EFL Cup tomorrow night.

Forest take on The Gunners at a sold-out City Ground for a place in the fourth round and Montanier believes the home supporters can play a vital part in the contest.

He said: “It’s exciting to be playing against one of Europe’s biggest clubs. The stadium is sold out and we’re going to need every one of our fans tomorrow night because it will be a very tough challenge.

“Arsenal have always had great stability and bring through talented players who play in the same style. Arsene Wenger is a very good example for French managers and he sets the standard for those of us working in Europe.

“Nottingham Forest and Arsenal used to play each other regularly in years gone by and we want to get back to that. It would be a great achievement to beat them tomorrow night and move into the fourth round.”

The Forest boss is expecting to be without a trio of players for tomorrow’s cup clash but says former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner’s fitness has improved rapidly since he arrived at the club two weeks ago.

He said: “Damien Perquis, Britt Assombalonga and Thomas Lam will be missing through injury tomorrow night as they need a few more days to recover. But Nicklas Bendtner is fit and ready to start a game now.

"It is a special game for Nicklas but he's a very experienced player. We want him to use his emotion to play well in the game. Arsenal may field a different starting line-up but that will not make it easier for us because they have many talented young players."

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