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Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United Stats and Bet Builder Tips Preview

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Friday evening Premier League fun can be enhanced with a well-researched bet builder, and that is what we are providing today. Nottingham Forest welcome newly-promoted Sheffield United to the City Ground in a repeat of the 2021/22 Championship play-off semi final second leg. Both teams lost last week but Forest had a decent second half showing against Arsenal and will hope to build on that momentum. Home form was the key to Forest surviving in the Premier League last season. They won eight out of 19 games in front of their own fans and only lost five times, something to consider for a Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United bet builder.

Sheffield United really need to improve after their toothless opening display against Crystal Palace, kicking off the campaign with a 1-0 defeat at Bramall Lane. It has been a challenging summer for the Blades who have lost several key men. The prospect of a Friday night match in front of the cameras might bring the best out of the players.

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Nottingham Forest VS Sheffield United PREDICTED LINEUPS 

Cooper expected to be more adventurous at home 

Taiwo Awoniyi wasn’t fit to start the opener for Forest last week but came off the bench and made a real impact. The Nigerian forward scored a goal and caused Arsenal several problems. He is expected to start this game which gives Forest an extra dimension, especially in tandem with Brennan Johnson. Steve Cooper opted for a 3-4-3 system in North London but should be more offensive-minded here with a 4-2-3-1 setup. Moussa Niakhate is expected to return to the starting XI at the back.

Nottingham Forest Predicted Lineup 1

United struggling with injury crisis

Sheffield United have several injury concerns including the likes of John Fleck, Rhian Brewster, Ollie McBurnie and Jayden Bogle. Summer signing, from Swedish club Hacken, Benie Traore was immediately thrown into the deep end last week, alongside 20-year-old William Osula who has been fast-tracked to this level of football due to poor preparation from the Blades. United recently signed midfielder Gustavo Hamer from Coventry City and he might be in contention to start.

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Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United team stats 

Midlanders’ metrics were decent last week

Forest actually had a better xG than Arsenal last week 1.12 vs 0.66. Despite being outshot 15 to 6 they created arguably the most dangerous chances. Steve Cooper’s men had a measly 21% possession which was remarkably low even for their standards. Last season they averaged 37% which was the lowest of any side, although this might be a rare instance where they have more of the ball. The Midlanders lost the corner battle 8-3 last week but should be more competitive in that category here as well.

Blades blunted in round one

Sheffield United put up a miserable display last week both in terms of performance on the eye and in the data. They were outshot 8-24 at home to Crystal Palace and could only produce one shot on target. They also had a very low possession count of 33% but this match could see a more even split of the ball. The Blades had equal corners (5-5) vs Palace and any side managed by Paul Heckingbottom will play for set pieces. 

Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United players to watch

Awoniyi to continue scoring streak

It was a blow for Forest that their top striker Taiwo Awoniyi wasn’t fit to start last week. He came on after 71 mins and made a huge difference, scoring a goal and giving them a much bigger threat. He has now netted seven times in his last five Premier League matches and will be raring to go here. Odds of 2.80 to score anytime look too big on the Nigerian striker at home to newly promoted opposition. You could also consider him to have one or more SOT at 1.30. This would be a safer selection to add to your Nottingham Forest bet builder.

Gibbs-White should be a reliable shooting option

Forest have England U21 starlet Morgan Gibbs-White in their ranks. He is on a different technical level to anyone else in their team and most good things they do going forward come through him. He averaged one shot every 54 mins in the Premier League last season and 50% of his efforts were on target. He can be backed at 1.25 for two or more shots which looks perfectly acceptable in a soft home fixture. He will be readily involved from both open play and set pieces. Sheffield United conceded 24 shots last week so he should have plenty of opportunities to let fly.

Yates is likely to keep fouling

Ryan Yates was one of the biggest offenders last season for Forest. He collected six yellow cards in the Premier League and made 43 fouls. He is often seen as one of the heartbeats of the team in the middle of the park and will unquestionably play dirty if needed. He is one of the shortest prices of all players to have at least one foul (1.13) in this match but a more backable 1.73 is available on the Forest midfielder to have 2 or more fouls. He duly obliged with exactly two last week vs Arsenal and is in the sort of combative area of the field which naturally yields fouls. 

Ahmedhodzic set piece threat can’t be ignored

Sheffield United place a big emphasis on set pieces and will be targeting corners and long throws here. Centre back Anel Ahmedhodzic is a definite candidate to cause problems from these sorts of situations. He had 39 shots from 32 appearances in the Championship last season, scoring six goals. The Blades only had six shots last week, but he had one of them. The former Malmo and Bordeaux man is priced at 1.36 to have one or more shots at the City Ground. He could be a good addition to your Sheffield United bet builder.  

Youthful Osula likely to be over-exuberant

Sheffield United have plenty of injuries in attack so Paul Heckingbottom might be forced to start youngster William Osula in attack again. As can often happen with a player of his age suddenly thrown into the limelight, he can try too hard. Osula led the Blades with shots last week and he also racked up three fouls. He will be putting maximum effort into everything again. You can get 1.25 on one or more fouls and also 1.40.

Traore eager to impress for the Blades

Benie Traore couldn’t get into the game last week and failed to even register a single shot vs Palace in 87 minutes of action. Traore has racked up 12 goals in 14 appearances in the Swedish Allsvenskan this year so he shouldn’t lack confidence, potentially against a softer defence. He is 1.30 to have two shots or more.

Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United matchups to watch

Anel Ahmedhodzic vs Taiwo Awoniyi

It will be a collective effort from the whole back three to keep a lid on the physicality of Awoniyi, but this matchup stands out the most. Ahmedhodzic produced three fouls last week when up against a similar type of player in Odsonne Edouard and can be backed at 1.25 for at least one foul here, which looks generous.

George Baldock vs Brennan Johnson

Despite playing as more of a central striker under Steve Cooper, Brennan Johnson likes to pick up the ball on the flanks and also run in behind from wide areas. That could see him engage with George Baldock, who will be responsible to cover for Anel Ahmedhodzic should he bomb forward.

Johnson’s pace in transition can be devastating and the Blades will be looking to deal with Forest’s threats at source which they were unable to against Palace last week.

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