The opening of Gameweek 11 sees Nottingham Forest travel to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton on Tuesday night. The home side sit comfortably in seventh with 14 points, largely because of Graham Potter, who moved to Chelsea last month. The away side are in much worse shape, sitting at the foot of the table and look like they’re heading straight back down to the Championship unless something changes soon.
Brighton have only picked up one point in the three games that they have had under Roberto de Zerbi since Graham Potter’s departure, but they have been unlucky. They’d have been disappointed to not see out a 2-0 lead at Anfield but still picked up a very creditable point on Merseyside. They have won the two games since then on expected goals but have come out with zero points. They will be disappointed that Kaoru Mitoma, who came on at half time on Saturday, is injured and unavailable for this one but de Zerbi has remained positive, saying that he does not feel the need to make too many changes. He has confirmed, however, that Adam Lallana will be starting – likely meaning Pascal Gross will miss out.
Nottingham Forest have been awful this season. Despite signing 21 players, they do not seem to fit well together yet and this massive amount of discontinuity has seen them pick up just one win all season, as well as only one point in their last seven. They have had a favourable run of fixtures in their last five, including both other promoted teams, as well as Leicester, Aston Villa and Wolves and have not kept a clean sheet in any of those, losing four. Their last three away games have been lost by an aggregate score of 11-0, and the decision to give Steve Cooper a new contract just two weeks ago looks bizarre now. Given the size of their squad, they have plenty of longer-term injuries, but have now got Serge Aurier, Renan Lodi and Lewis O’Brien as doubts for this one.
Brighton v Nottingham Forest Bet Builder Tips
Brighton (-1 Handicap)
Brighton have had a very solid start and have had the basis of a very good team put in by Graham Potter. They may have only scored three goals in the three games under de Zerbi but they have accumulated 5.04xG and this suggests that there are goals on the way soon, maybe starting here. Defensively, they have been solid too, despite conceding six goals. In their last home game, they limited Spurs to 0.63 xG and were undone by a good finish from one of the best strikers in the league, Harry Kane. Brighton’s record at home is very good, with four wins, three draws and that loss to Spurs in their last eight. In this time, they have kept four clean sheets, and considering Nottingham Forest have only scored seven times all season, they may struggle to find the back of the net here.
Nottingham Forest have got off to the worst possible start of the season and if Steve Cooper or any other manager manages to keep them up, then they would have done an incredible job. They are only four points off Wolves in 17th but they have looked so uninspiring in most games that it’s difficult to see them turning this around any time soon. In their last two games, they have a combined total of 0.9 nPxG and this is very concerning for any Forest fans. This game may see Brennan Johnson, who tore up the Championship, finally dropped after his penalty miss and they are likely to come into this game with Awoniyi and Dennis up front. They have combined for three goals between them this season but I think they’ll struggle against a sturdy back two of Dunk and Webster and they also have the option to bring in another good centre back in Veltman and switch to a three if necessary.
Another factor in this game is rest times. Brighton played on Friday night, giving them an extra day of rest to prepare for this game, and this could play a big part. In addition, they only had to travel to London to face Brentford and had a short journey back, and whilst the trip from Wolves to Nottingham is not long for the Reds, it is even less pleasant with the long trip down to the south coast to face the seagulls. Forest’s squad is big enough to rotate but this will further the discontinuity between the players that are out there on the pitch, and Cooper will want to try and allow players to build relationships with each other.
Solly March to have 2+ Shots
Solly March has become a very solid, even if not spectacular, player for the club he has been with since 2011. Starting out as a left winger, Potter played him a bit deeper as a wing back and de Zerbi has continued in the three games under his tenure. He has had 21 shots in his nine games so far this season, including a massive six here against Leicester City. In fact, in his four games here this season, he has had at least three in three, and a combined total of 14. He only had one last time against Spurs but he was pinned back further than he would have normally been, especially against a weaker opponent like Forest. He is likely to be up against Neco Williams on his left hand side, and this could leave plenty of space as Williams likes to attack a lot.
In nine of Nottingham Forest’s ten games, this line has landed for left wing backs or left sided forwards. The only exception to this was Podence for Wolves on the weekend, however that was against Aurier, who is more defensively solid than Williams. However, Aurier is a doubt for this game, and I think Williams should start this game, giving March plenty of space. Demarai Gray managed six shots for Everton and Saint-Maximin and Barnes managed four each for Newcastle and Leicester respectively from the left side.
Scott McKenna to be Shown a Card
Scott McKenna was impressive in the Championship for the past two seasons following his move to Nottingham Forest, but questions were asked whether he would manage to step up in the Premier League. On the left side of the three, he has more than held his own. However, he has been prone to a yellow card. He has already accumulated four in his ten Premier League games, including on the weekend at Wolves, as well as one for Scotland against the Republic of Ireland in the Nations League.
Here, he is likely to be supporting Toffolo on the left side of the defence, likely against Danny Welbeck and Solly March. March has drawn 12 fouls in the league this season and is only two behind Alexis MacAllister, Brighton’s most fouled player. Danny Welbeck and Solly March both rank among the top five for number of pressures from Brighton players this season, and McKenna may struggle against this. Brighton have drawn four yellow cards from centre backs, but what is most interesting is that a left back or left centre back for the opposition has been booked in six of their nine games so far, suggesting that McKenna may have his hands full. Toffolo may also be value at 2/1.
The referee for this game is Darren England. He averages just 3.26 cards per game across his career, but 1.9 of these go to the away side. Forest also average 2.90 cards for per game. This suggests that they could face a few cautions and McKenna should be one of the main culprits. If the game starts getting away from them, then we might start seeing some lazy and frustrated tackles.
Over 5.5 Brighton Corners
In their four home games so far this season, Brighton have had a massive 28 corners, at an average of seven per game. This line has landed in three of their four games at the Amex, only failing to do so against Leeds – where they managed five. In fact, against Leicester they had an enormous ten corners. I think they’ll dominate this game and should have plenty of corners.
Nottingham Forest on the other hand have conceded 37 corners in just five away matches, averaging 7.40 against per game. They have conceded at least six in four of their five games, with the exception of Wolves on the weekend. Wolves only managed four but are a much weaker side going forward than Brighton, who I expect to have most of the ball and plenty of opportunities.
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How to watch Brighton v Nottingham Forest in the Premier League?
📅 When is Brighton v Nottingham Forest? / Tuesday, 18th October 2022, 19:30
🏟 Where is Brighton v Nottingham Forest? / AMEX Stadium (Brighton)
📺 What TV channel is Brighton v Nottingham Forest on? / Amazon Prime Video 🟨 …And who is the referee for Brighton v Nottingham Forest? / D. England 🏴