Relegation candidates Nottingham Forest entertain top-four chasers Newcastle this evening in a potentially gripping Friday night fixture at the City Ground.
Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees have managed to avoid defeat for a remarkable nine successive Premier League home games and having taken points off Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City during that run, Forest will be targeting another big scalp when they host the Magpies.
Below, I’ve compiled a stats pack for today’s clash which should equip you with everything you need to attack the bet builder markets with gusto. It’s also worth your time to read my Stats Pack Guide for some extra pointers.
Nottingham Forest’s squad has been hit by a slew of injuries and with Dean Henderson, Taiwo Awoniyi, Willy Boly, Giulian Biancone, Scott McKenne, Omar Richards already ruled out, the Reds have fresh concerns about Brennan Johnson, Chris Wood and Cheikhou Kouyate this week.
Ex-Newcastle man Jonjo Shelvey could start in midfield against his old club, while Emmanuel Denis and Andre Ayew could be paired in attack just in front of Morgan Gibbs-White. Jesse Lingard could be the one to miss out in the final third again.
With Brazilian powerhouse Joelinton still suspended, Joe Willock should keep his place in Newcastle’s midfield three today alongside Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff, while Alexander Isak could be preferred to Callum Wilson in attack.
Anthony Gordon faces a few weeks on the sidelines, so Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron should be handed roles on the flanks at the City Ground. Expect Eddie Howe to stick to his tried and trusted 4-3-3 formation.
Nottingham Forest have been posting the kind of stats you’d expect to see from a team battling against the drop and only three clubs have been conceding more shots per 90 than the Tricky Trees.
Only a trio of clubs are scoring fewer goals per 90 than Forest, though Steve Cooper’s troops have rattled the net in all but one of their 13 home assignments in the Premier League since their promotion. Interestingly, Forest have collected more cards at home than any other side in the division so far. The hosts are a generous-looking 4/5 to pick up more cautions than Newcastle this evening.
Newcastle have the meanest defence in the Premier League this season, conceding seven fewer goals overall than the division’s next-best backline at Man City (25). However, the Magpies’ xG per 90 figure is more than twice as big as their goals against tally, suggesting they should have been punished more often than they have.
Newcastle are still firmly in the mix for a top-four finish, however, Eddie Howe’s charges have won only twice in nine attempts in the league and they haven’t won an away fixture since Boxing Day. Despite their dip, the Magpies remain one of the top flight’s corner kings, and only Man City have won more of them since August. Newcastle, who won 11 corners to Forest’s one in August, look backable at 4/11 to win over 4.5 corners again this evening.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
While several Forest players have put up decent numbers in terms of shots per 90 this season, accuracy levels have been low across the board, so it makes sense to veer away from the markets for shots on target this evening.
Instead, backing Emmanuel Dennis or Morgan Gibbs-White in the 2+ shots department at 10/11 or 8/11 respectively could be the smarter play. Schemer Gibbs-White has clocked at least two efforts in four of his last six starts in the Premier League.
A front three containing Alexander Isak, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron should be difficult for the Forest defence to handle, and all three attackers have carried significant threat in the final third this term.
Swedish striker Isak is a particularly lethal finisher and fresh from hitting three shots on target in his last two league runouts, the 23-year-old could add weight to your docket at 1/4 to register at least one accurate attempt at the City Ground. Saint-Maximin can be a little erratic when letting fly, though Miguel Almiron has been wearing his shooting boots most weeks and the Paraguayan could be a solid inclusion at 4/6 to test the Forest keeper with at least one punt.
Player Goals and Assists
Brennan Johnson and Chris Wood, who have scored four of Forest’s last five Premier League goals between them, are major doubts this evening, leaving the Tricky Trees a little light on goal-getting options up top, and much will be expected of Morgan Gibbs-White when it comes to attacking menace.
The 23-year-old hasn’t scored a Premier League since November 12th, though Gibbs-White did manage to provide three assists in his last five top flight runouts at the City Ground and the attacking midfielder looks like your best bet to score or assist for Forest again today at 11/4.
Miguel Almiron tucked away his 11th Premier League goal of the season when he fired home against Wolves last weekend and the 29-year-old can be backed at 11/4 to do some more damage in the anytime goalscorer department later on.
Almiron already has six Premier League away goals under his belt for the campaign for Newcastle – a haul that puts him comfortably above the Magpies’ next-best performers on the road, Callum Wilson and Chris Wood (two goals each). With that pair likely to be handed watching briefs for different reasons, Almiron should be near the front of the queue for your bet builder coupon.
Elsewhere, Alexander Isak, whose time with Newcastle has been injury hit, has scored four times in just six starts in the Premier League since his switch from Real Sociedad, and his pace could trouble a static Forest defence. Isak is priced at 17/10 to rattle the net anytime in Nottingham.
Only Bournemouth have been averaging less possession per game than Nottingham Forest in the Premier League this season and bettors shouldn’t expect any of their players to rack up big distribution numbers this evening.
However, right-back Serge Aurier could be worth sneaking onto your docket to beat a low 30+ passes target at 2/5. The 30-year-old’s average for the campaign is 39.66 passes per 90, while he pinged 52 and 57 passes around in his last two Premier League starts against Tottenham and Everton.
Newcastle’s back four and their screening midfielder, Bruno Guimaraes, have been routinely rotating the ball between them for the Magpies this season, and Fabian Schar, Kieron Trippier and Guimaraes all played north of 50 passes against Forest back in August.
Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes played a game-high 72 passes in the Magpies’ 2-0 win that afternoon and the 25-year-old looks a snip at 1/3 to beat the 50+ passes hurdle in today’s rematch. Kieran Tripper is even money in the same race, and he has played 70+ passes in four of his last seven appearances.
Nottingham Forest Cards Cards
The middle of the pitch could be a hotbed of activity later on when several combative players from both sides of the dividing line share some tight spaces. Ryan Yates (2.38 fouls p/90) could be a savvy choice at 4/9 to commit+ fouls in there, while former Newcastle man Jonjo Shelvey is almost certain to throw his weight around against his former teammates.
The 31-year-old has always had an edge to his game and at 1/4 to execute 1+ fouls, Shelvey could be worth a look later on. At left back, Renan Lodi – who has seen yellow in each of his last two appearances – is 16/5 to collect his fifth booking of the campaign overall.
Bruno Guimares and Sean Longstaff have been drawing plenty of fouls while skirmishing in midfield this term, and that Newcastle duo will know they are in a game again when they come into contact with Forest’s Ryan Yates and Jonjo Shelvey. Expect the tackles to fly in those exchanges.
On the flanks, Allan Saint-Maximin is Newcastle’s most prolific dribbler, however, Miguel Almiron tends to draw slightly more fouls per 90 and the rapid Paraguayan will be aiming to test the timing of Renan Lodi’s tackles down the Magpies right later on.
Match-Ups to watch
Ryan Yates vs Bruno Guimaraes
Renan Lodi vs Miguel Almiron
Jonjo Shelvey vs Sean Longstaff
Newcastle have been collecting a relatively modest 1.88 cards per 90 this season, though a few of their more abrasive characters could be extra bristly in what promises to be a heated atmosphere at the City Ground later on.
Bruno Guimaraes, who has been committing 1.54 fouls per 90 this term, has given away at least two free kicks in three of his last five Premier League starts and the fiery South American is even money to sin at least twice later. Fabian Schar and Dan Burn meanwhile, should turn heads at 4/9 and 1/3 respectively in the 1+ fouls arena. Both defenders could be marking expert foul-winning opponents in Nottingham.
I identified Ryan Yates as someone with the potential to dish out some punishment later on, though the midfielder’s fouls suffered stats (2.69 p/90) suggest the 25-year-old is just as likely to be on the receiving end, especially with Bruno Guimaraes for company in midfield.
Further forward, Emmanuel Dennis (4.34 p/90) is an awkward customer who is adept at drawing clumsy challenges from defenders, while Andrew Ayew (2.35) could make Dan Burn look ungainly when he drifts into the channel. Like his brother Jordan at Palace, Ayew needs little invitation to hit the deck.
Match-Ups to watch
Bruno Guimaraes vs Ryan Yates
Fabian Schar vs Emmanuel Dennis
Dan Burn vs Andre Ayew
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Whilst compiling the stats for this epic pack there were a few value picks that stood out to me as good value. If you’re struggling for ideas or not sure how to use the pack, this may get those bet building juices flowing – four selections at 5/1.
Nottingham Forest vs Newcastle
Almiron averages 0.77 shots on target p/90 from 2.28 shots.
Newcastle average 4.76 shots on target per game.
Forest concede 4.52 shots on target per game.
Forest receive an average of 2.08 cards per game.
Their opposition across the season have averages 1.81.
Newcastle average 1.88 cards received.
Their opposition average 2.20.
Newcastle average 6.92 corners per game.
Forest concede 6.23 corners per game.
Kieran Trippier makes the most crosses in the league (256).
Shelvey averages 1.03 fouls p/90.
Bruno Guimaraes draws an average of 2.69 fouls p/90 and attempts 3.03 dribbles, while Sean Longstaff draws another 1.36 fouls.