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Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
The first of two games on offer this Super Sunday sees Forest make the trip to Anfield to face Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side find themselves fourth after nine games, much improved on their disastrous start to the last campaign which ultimately sentenced them to Europa League football this season.
The midfield rebuild has got off to a strong start, with Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister impressing, though Wataru Endo has been more of a slow burner, even if he did net his first goal in red during the 5-1 thrashing of Toulouse in midweek.
Forest meanwhile have been doing much the same as they did last season, picking up ten points from their nine games to keep themselves just out of reach of the relegation scrap. Steve Cooper’s men have only lost one of their last five, however, they have also not won any of their last five, drawing four games and losing away to Man City.
This has included some decent results, like a 1-1 draw with Brentford, and a creditable 0-0 against Palace, but also some more questionable results, like throwing away a two-goal cushion at home to Luton, and labouring to a draw against ten-man Burnley at the City Ground.
Forest also have injury concerns, which will play into the hands of Liverpool. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Taiwo Awoniyi are both out, whilst Divock Origi being injured gives Steve Cooper even fewer options going forward.
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest Cheat Sheet
This Cheat Sheet and Preview was created using predicted lineups.
Now, for my breakdown and preview with recommended bets…
⚽ Liverpool stats: Defence continues to be a worry for Klopp’s men
Liverpool’s goalscoring record is impressive, only failing to score twice or more in two of their nine Premier League games this season.
They have however struggled defensively, conceding in seven of these nine, which means that both teams to score has landed in seven of nine this season. Over 2.5 goals would also have landed in seven of nine, with the two games in which it did not land both featuring two goals.
Forest’s counter-attacking threat will definitely cause problems for Liverpool, with Trent Alexander-Arnold having the licence to roam out of his position, which will leave gaps that Anthony Elanga could exploit.
It is likely down to Forest’s injury issues that the price is so high, but we still believe it represents good value. Liverpool allow far too many chances, and though Awoniyi will be a big miss for Forest, Chris Wood poses a different kind of challenge that will draw the more physical central defenders away from the space the dangerous Morgan Gibbs-White likes to occupy.
What does seem certain is that Liverpool will find the net, likely on multiple occasions. They have scored three or more goals on four occasions already this season, smashing through the over 2.5 goals line without relying on their opponents to help out.
Prediction: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.36
Prediction: Both teams to score @ 1.87
⚽ Nottingham Forest stats: An entirely unimpressive unbeaten run
Forest may be unbeaten in three, but their autumn slump risks becoming a real issue if teams below them pick up a few more points. Six points to the relegation zone may seem like a lot, but two bad weekends could flip that picture on its head.
Unfortunately, Anfield is hardly the best place to arrest this slump. Liverpool have lost only once this season and have won six of their nine Premier League games. This has included impressive wins against Newcastle and Aston Villa, and features only one team in the bottom six, that being their comfortable 2-0 win against Everton last time out.
With Liverpool failing to generate 1 xG only once this season, whilst Forest have conceded 2.8, 2.3 and 1.3 xG in away games to Man United, Chelsea and Man City respectively, it seems safe to say that Forest’s backline will have their hands full this weekend.
This is, however, not necessarily an issue for Cooper’s side, having successfully shut out Chelsea and Crystal Palace away from home in 2023/24. They will have their work cut out, that seems certain, but they will also be confident that their deep block can soak up pressure, allowing them to break quickly on the counter.
A win is of course possible, but unlikely, a goal or two should not be considered out of reach for this talented forward line. Liverpool’s defence could be generously described as shaky over the past season and a half, and Forest will be well set up to take advantage of this weakness.
Prediction: Liverpool (-1 handicap) @ 1.62
Prediction: Over 2.5 Liverpool goals @ 1.83
🎯 Liverpool offensive stats: Free-scoring Reds led by Salah
Barring the freakish Spurs game in late September, which saw an enormous VAR error coupled with two red cards for Liverpool, you now have to go all the way back to August 19 for the last time that Liverpool failed to net at least two goals in a game.
Mo Salah’s stellar start to this campaign is going under the radar somewhat, as much like last season he is being outshone in the goalscoring stakes by a robotic Norwegian in Manchester.
However, Salah does have seven goals and four assists in his nine Premier League games this season, and this could well be a great opportunity to boost those numbers further.
Forest have admittedly not conceded many this season, however, their gentle opening fixtures may well be the real reason for this, with seven goals conceded in three games against Man City, Man United and Arsenal.
In all three of those games it could have been more, and fresh from a rest in midweek, Salah should be firing on all cylinders in front of the Kop on Sunday.
Prediction: Mo Salah to score or assist @ 1.53
Prediction: Mo Salah to score anytime @ 1.91
🎯 Nottingham Forest offensive stats: Shot shy, but accurate
Forest have notched at least two shots on target in every away game so far in this Premier League season.
Steve Cooper’s side have always had a bit of a spark about them going forward, with it usually being their defence that is their undoing. Despite a mini-injury crisis, he still has proven Premier League players are able to do a job ready for this one, and the space they will be afforded by Liverpool’s defence should present opportunities for shots.
In their five away Premier League games so far, the Tricky Trees have managed three or more shots on target in four, the exception being against Arsenal in what was one of their worst performances of the season.
Forest have forced the opposition goalkeeper to make two or more saves in four of their five away games, and opposition keepers have averaged just a shade under three saves per game across their nine league games.
Across four home games this season, Allison has made three or more saves in three of them. Not only do Liverpool concede plenty of shots on target (5, 3 ,4, and 1 in their four home games), but their keeper is one of the world’s best at preventing those shots from becoming goals.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest to have 3+ shots on target @ 1.80
Prediction: Liverpool GK to make 2+ saves @ 1.73
🛑 Liverpool defensive stats: Tsimikas is extremely foul-happy
Kostas Tsimikas’ foul numbers are not quite as high as the Cheat Sheet would suggest, with his lack of minutes boosting them somewhat.
However, he does still commit plenty of fouls, and looks like a target for the fouls market today, as he will be matched up against Morgan Gibbs-White, who draws 1.57 fouls per game, the most of any Forest player.
Tsimikas has committed at least one foul in six of his seven starts for Liverpool and Greece this season, committing more than one in half of those six.
He made three fouls in his only Premier League start of the season, last time out against Everton, and did so in just 61 minutes on the field.
If you are dipping into the fouls market today, the Greek left-back should be the first place you look.
Prediction: Kostas Tsimikas to commit 1+ fouls @ 1.17
Prediction: Kostas Tsimikas to commit 2+ fouls @ 1.91
🛑 Nottingham Forest defensive stats: Aina in for a long afternoon
Cards look a smart bet builder option in this fixture, with teams away at Liverpool averaging 2.25 cards per game. Forest also have a high average for cards in games away from home, notching up 3.6 per game, including a ridiculous seven away to Man City.
Their lowest number of cards in an away match this season is one, which came away to Crystal Palace. They had two against Arsenal but in their other games away to big six sides, at Man United, Chelsea and Man City, Forest were shown 4, 4, and 7 cards respectively.
With so many Liverpool players capable of drawing fouls, not least Luis Diaz and Dominik Szoboszlai who will combine to put real pressure on Ola Aina on the Forest right flank. He averages 1.36 fouls per game, fourth-most on the Forest team.
Aina has already been booked three times this season, and besides Gravenberch whose numbers are distorted due to a lack of minutes, Diaz and Szoboszlai draw more fouls than any other Liverpool players.
Prediction: Over 1.5 Nottingham Forest cards @ 1.33
Prediction: Ola Aina to commit 1+ fouls @ 1.36
Prediction: Ola Aina to be shown a card @ 3.60
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* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets.
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.
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