Nottingham Forest face awkward Man City reunion after Tottenham row

Nottingham Forest’s discontent with referees has been one of the running themes throughout this most difficult of seasons – and this weekend they will be officiated by one who has already been involved in a controversial incident in one of their games.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Reds take on Manchester City at the City Ground on Sunday, a game that comes a week after their inflammatory statement in the wake of their rejected penalty claims at Everton.

As the fall-out from their statement about Goodison Park VAR Stuart Attwell rumbles on they now know Simon Hooper will referee their game with Pep Guardiola’s title hopefuls.

READ: Chris Sutton identifies Nottingham Forest's 'oddity' and questions penalty claims

READ: UEFA make referee appointments after Everton v Nottingham Forest controversy

Hooper last did a Forest game when they lost 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur on April 7 and missed an incident that attracted the ire of Nuno following a clash between Ryan Yates and James Maddison. The Spurs midfielder shoved Yates in the stomach that day, an incident Hooper didn’t see but one which was cleared by VAR.

However, Nuno was unhappy and after the game said: "I was surprised VAR didn't [send Maddison off]. Maddison lost composure and punched Yates in the stomach. What they saw clearly is not the same as we saw. I wouldn't speak if I wasn't 100% sure."

Pundits didn’t agree with Nuno, with former Reds coach and player Roy Keane saying: "I worked with Yates at Forest, really nice kid, but every week somebody touches him he goes down. He goes down far too easily. For such a decent lad he needs to cut that out of his game."

Yates hit the deck and gestured for a VAR replay, however official Michael Salisbury felt there was no evidence of violent conduct.

But former ref Dermot Gallagher felt Maddison didn’t ‘have a leg to stand on’. Hooper will have Peter Bankes as his VAR on Sunday.

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