Nottingham Forest v Everton Cheat Sheet
Nottingham Forest v Everton
The early kick off on Super Sunday sees Everton travel to the City Ground to face off with Nottingham Forest in what is an important battle at the bottom of the table. Nottingham Forest had a bit of a resurgence but have only won one of their last seven in all competitions, being thumped 4-0 at West Ham last time out. New Everton manager Sean Dyche will have been pleased with his six points in five games so far given that they have had a tricky run of fixtures – including league leaders Arsenal twice and a visit across Liverpool to Anfield. However, they remain in the relegation zone coming into this round of fixtures although they are only four points behind Nottingham Forest in 13th and so the battle is far from lost.
Nottingham Forest started the season very slowly and looked certainties for relegation before the World Cup break. However, a strong start in December and January have helped drag them up to 13th, and a big part of that is their home form. They have the ninth best record in the league at home, picking up 19 points from 12 games whilst only getting six in their 12 games away from the City Ground. In the league they are unbeaten since September here and drew to Manchester City last time out. Only Manchester United have a longer active unbeaten home Premier League run right now. However, they have plenty of injuries and absentees for this one, including three centre backs – Scott McKenna, Willy Boly and Moussa Niakhate. Serge Aurier, Taiwo Awoniyi, Dean Henderson, Giulian Biancone, Omar Richards and Cheikou Kouyate will all be unavailable as well but Ryan Yates could be welcomed back.
Everton were only heading one way under Frank Lampard and a change of manager looked inevitable. Without a win in ten in all competitions and picking up just two points in that time, the hierarchy decided that a change was needed before the team got cut adrift and brought in Sean Dyche in his first job since his long-term stint at Burnley. He has had to navigate a tricky run of fixtures but their win at home to Arsenal in his first game certainly helped to win fans over and boost confidence amongst the club. However, this is Everton’s longest winless run against promoted sides (eight games) and Sean Dyche will be wanting to stop that record here, despite scoring just six goals in 20 games away from home this season. Dominic Calvert-Lewin will once again miss out here as he recovers from injury with Nathan Patterson and Andros Townsend also unlikely to play. James Garner could play against his former side here as he comes back from injury.
Following a slow start, Nottingham Forest have improved recently and a big part of that is their home form. Since their 3-2 loss to Fulham in mid-September, their only defeat at the City Ground is their 3-0 loss against Manchester United in the EFL Cup (11 matches). Last time out a late Chris Wood equaliser earnt them an enormous point against Manchester City. Against teams around them in the league, they have been impressive here. In their home run of form, they have beaten Crystal Palace, Leicester and Leeds which has proven to be vitally important in their bid for survival and they will be targeting another three points here against a side currently in the relegation zone.
Sean Dyche got off to the dream start following his move to Everton, starting with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal in front of his new home fans. He has lost three of his next four since then, but managed to win the most important one – a 1-0 victory over relegation rivals Leeds. Their two games on the road have ended up in an aggregate scoreline of a 6-0 loss, albeit against Liverpool and Arsenal, but this is how the Toffees’ away form has been this season. They have managed just one win and seven points from their 12 games on their travels, scoring just six goals.
Brennan Johnson has grown into the season and has scored nine goals for club and country in all competitions this season. At the City Ground this season, he has appeared 15 times, managing at least one shot in 13 of those and a total of 13 attempts on target. He has had at least one shot on target in ten of his last 15 matches and in his last four here, he has had four shots on target – only failing to do so against Manchester City. In the reverse fixture at Goodison Park, the Welsh forward netted Forest’s only goal in a 1-1 draw, having two shots with one on target.
Remo Freuler signed from Serie A side Atalanta in August, becoming their 15th summer signing. Vastly experienced with 46 caps for his country, the Swiss international has cemented his place in the Forest midfield. He has made the fourth most fouls of any Forest player this season, conceding 20 at a rate of 1.10 fouls per 90. He has made at least one foul in each of his last four.
He has started 18 matches in the league this season, committing at least one foul in 14 (77.78%) and he has made one in eight of his nine starts at the City Ground, including at least one in his last six (with nine in total). Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gana Gueye are Everton’s most fouled players with 39 and 36 respectively and Freuler will be given the task of dealing with them and trying to disrupt them here.
Vitaliy Mykolenko is in his second season in the Premier League and has impressed at times in a very poor Everton side. He has committed the third most fouls of any player in the squad (25) though, at a rate of 1.05 fouls per 90 minutes.
In his last five starts as a left back (since Sean Dyche took over at Goodison Park), he has committed nine fouls and this selection has landed in four of those games – including in both away matches. In away games for club and country this season, the Ukrainian has played the whole match 11 times, being penalised 13 times with this selection landing in nine of the 11 and in eight of the last nine.
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