Nottingham Forest still hope for a reduced points deduction – but there’s slim chance
Source: Telegraph

Nottingham Forest's appeal over breaching spending rules will take place the week after next, in what could prove a pivotal outcome in the Premier League relegation battle.

Forest were docked four points last month for breaking profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) and have contested the sanction, with the appeal to commence after Sunday's match at rivals Everton.

With Everton also fighting their second punishment of the season, the Premier League is facing a battle to complete the cases before the final day of the campaign on May 19.

Forest are not permitted to submit new evidence at the appeal but remain frustrated with the initial decision.

They claim the club's argument on Brennan Johnson's PS47.5 million sale to Tottenham was essentially ignored, after delaying his departure to secure a bigger fee.

It is understood that Forest are hopeful of having their punishment reduced by at least one point, which could provide the club with a huge boost in their battle against relegation.

The prospect of the points deduction being increased is thought to be very remote.

Forest's appeal will be heard by a three-person independent commission, with a final decision expected at the start of May.

Forest's draw at home to Wolves on Saturday hauled them one point clear of the bottom three, but they remain in deep trouble.

This weekend's trip to Everton appears hugely significant, with Nuno Espirito Santo hopeful of two key players returning.

Anthony Elanga, the PS15 million signing from Manchester United, missed the Wolves game after sustaining a knock in training but is expected to train next week.

Taiwo Awoniyi underwent a scan on a thigh injury on Saturday and Forest are cautiously optimistic that the forward will return this month.

Awoniyi's comeback may be too soon for the trip to Goodison Park but fears he would miss the remainder of the season have been allayed.