In the absence of a win in the Premier League (PL) since February (D3, L8), Nottingham Forest will likely be demoted immediately to the Championship. The Tricky Trees bravely rallied twice against Liverpool in a 3-2 loss at Anfield, but their efforts were in vain as they ultimately failed to win again, keeping them stuck in the bottom three.
Returning to the City Ground, where Forest has won five of its six Premier League games thus far, may be timely, but if they’re to score a spirit-boosting victory, they’ll probably also need to keep a clean sheet. That’s because each of those five home victories was accompanied by a shutout. However, with just one victory and four draws from their previous seven home league games against Brighton (L2), even a clean sheet isn’t a guarantee that the score will be higher than the 0-0 result from the last meeting.
After their exhausting 120 minutes battle with Manchester United in the FA Cup semifinal on Sunday, which ultimately resulted in a loss on penalties, Steve Cooper’s team may be catching Brighton at a favorable time. Boss Roberto De Zerbi thought his team deserved to win that match, but he added that they must now move past their disappointment in order to pursue their target of Europe.
Interestingly, this will be Brighton’s fourth straight Premier League away game, yet winning two of the previous three (L1) demonstrates the Seagulls’ strong aversion to traveling by air. Only the top three teams in the Premier League have accrued more away points than Brighton’s 25, and given that De Zerbi’s team has won its previous three midweek PL games Tuesday &Thursday, it would be foolish to bet against them increasing that total today.
Keylor Navas of Forest has given up goals in 11 straight games, averaging 2.2 goals per game, as of late. Solly March, who has scored all four of his away goals in the Premier League this season in the 20 minutes following halftime, will try to add insult to injury for Navas and help him forget about missing the critical penalty in the semi-final.
After being forced out at Anfield with a suspected collar bone problem, Scott McKenna quickly joined Nottingham Forest’s long list of injured players, giving Steve Cooper few choices in the defense.
With McKenna joining injured teammates Willy Boly, Serge Aurier, Giulian Biancone, and Omar Richards, Joe Worrall should retake his place at center back alongside Moussa Niakhate and Felipe.
Keylor Navas, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, will keep his spot in Forest’s starting lineup as goalkeeper Dean Henderson continues to recover from a hamstring injury, and Remo Freuler is anticipated to anchor the midfield.
Brennan Johnson, a crucial forward who has scored eight Premier League goals this season, was courageously benched by Cooper the last time they played, but he is expected to return to the starting lineup on Wednesday.
Cooper has limited room for rotation as he looks for a winning recipe because Chris Wood, Ryan Yates, Gustavo Scarpa, Jack Colback, and Cheikhou Kouyate are all injured and out right now.
For Brighton, Kaoru Mitoma and Solly March will occupy the wide attacking areas while Danny Welbeck will continue to lead the line as Evan Ferguson appears to be out for the foreseeable future.
Roberto De Zerbi won’t be able to make many changes to the starting XI from Sunday’s setback at Wembley because the Seagulls are also missing Adam Lallana, Jeremy Sarmiento, and Tariq Lamptey due to injury.
Robert Sanchez may be replaced by goalkeeper Jason Steele, while Alexis MacAllister may move into a deeper midfield position to make room for Julio Enciso to play a more advanced position.
Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup
Navas, Felipe, Worral, Niakhate, Williams, Freuler, Mangala, Lodi, Awoniyi, Gibbs-White and Johnson.
Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup
Steele, Gross, Webster, Dunk, Estupinan, Caicedo, Mac Allister, March, Enciso, Mitoma and Welbeck.
Nottingham Forest 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion according to us
Brighton will be worn out from Sunday’s lengthy FA Cup match with Manchester United, but De Zerbi’s team should still have enough left over to hand Nottingham Forest their fifth straight loss.
The Tricky Trees always give visiting teams a fight for their money on Trentside, but the hosts appear destined to lose to the Seagulls, who are anticipated to record their third win in as many Premier League games.