Liverpool visit Nottingham Forest for the Saturday lunchtime kick-off this weekend. Following this midweek round of fixtures, Forest are now rooted to the foot of the table, while Liverpool continue to make steady progress.
Last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Man City was the kind of result that can really kickstart a season, but Liverpool have still yet to put in a convincing performance in the league that proves they are back to their best. West Ham were unfortunate not to take a point back to East London in midweek with Bowen missing a penalty and a host of spurned chances to equalise.
Despite the question marks surrounding the Reds, Forest away is probably the easiest road trip to make in the Premier League this season. Steve Cooper has been tied down to a new contract, and Forest have marginally improved in recent weeks, managing draws with Aston Villa and away at Brighton in their last 3 games.
The fact remains, however, that the club have not won a Premier League game since August 14 and have not won a game of any kind since a Round 2 EFL Cup win over Grimsby Town on August 24.
Quite simply, Liverpool are overwhelming favourites for this game, and any kind of result for Forest would be a minor miracle. The league’s second-worst defence plays host to the league’s third-best attack and judging by the 9-0 and 7-1 thrashings Liverpool have already dished out this season, this could get ugly if Forest aren’t on their game.
Nottingham Forest v Liverpool Bet Builder Tips
Over 2.5 Goals
Liverpool have seen this land in 6 of their 10 Premier League games this season and are coming up against what remains a really poor Forest side. They have not particularly shown themselves to be capable of any upsets so far this season, though playing at home may encourage them to go for it and potentially add to the goals tally themselves.
Both teams have scored in 3 of Forest’s 5 home games this season, whilst 3 of Liverpool’s 4 Premier League away games have seen the same occur. Even if Forest are unable to nick a goal here, I still fancy Liverpool to notch three.
After a run of two hard-fought wins at home, the atmosphere around the club must be much better than where it has been, and I expect the focus now is attempting to pick up maximum points before the international break and flex their muscles a little to remind the rest of the league what they are capable of.
Forest could be playing Liverpool at just the wrong time and if Jurgen Klopp’s side are at it, this may well be a humbling along the lines of the 6-0 away loss to Manchester City suffered by Steve Cooper’s side back in September.
Darwin Nunez to have 2+ Shots on Target
Nunez’s willingness to shoot is simply extraordinary at the minute. Whether it is because he is trying to prove himself after an inauspicious start only, he knows, but he had taken at least 3 shots in all of his last 5 Liverpool appearances and has taken 3+ shots in 9/12 games this season.
What makes these numbers all the more ridiculous is that Nunez has only played a full 90 minutes twice for the club. In 19 minutes against Man City, he had 3 shots last weekend, he managed 6 in 56 minutes against West Ham, including 3 on target, and the first Champions League game against Rangers saw 6 shots, 4 on target in 79 minutes on the field.
If Liverpool dominate this game as I would expect, and assuming he is given the start, plenty of shots are almost a given. Should he be given the full 90 minutes, he has averaged 7.37 shots per 90 minutes on the field, and though his 2.37 shots on target shows an inefficient shooter, he is up against a Forest side which allows not only a huge number of chances, but also really high-quality ones, with their 17.9xGA, which is the third worst in the league.
Darwin Nunez to Score or Assist
Nunez’s enormous shooting numbers and the likelihood of him receiving multiple high-quality chances means that adding him to score or assist looks to be a sensible addition to any Bet Builder.
There is not much extra to be added to what is written above, but Nunez is currently sitting on 0.75xG per 90 minutes, which is in the 98th percentile for forwards across Europe’s top-5 leagues. He may not have yet been scoring at the rate in which Liverpool fans were hoping, but his determined cameo against City and very solid performance, topped off with a goal in midweek against West Ham will have boosted the confidence.
With so many quality attackers alongside Nunez, there is always a good chance of him bagging an assist (not least if it bounces off his foot straight to Salah as it did against Fulham), although the goal looks more likely. Regardless of likelihood, I’ll play it slightly safer and go for the option that covers all bases.
Neco Williams to be Shown a Card
Williams’ makes his first appearance against former side Liverpool here, and he will be right up for it, and will need to put his hours of practice defending against Mo Salah in training in years gone by to good use here if his team are to stand any chance.
Liverpool attack down the right 39% of the time, considerably more than either the centre or the left, so Williams will be the busiest of the Forest defenders here. He has been booked 3 times already this season and likes to be aggressive in his defending and pressing to win the ball back.
His 1.53 fouls committed are only 7th highest in the squad (of players with over 200 Premier League minutes), however, much of the year has seen him playing as a wingback encouraged to get forward and playing less in the backline.
Whether Cooper sticks with the back-four or returns to a five with Liverpool visiting, Williams is likely to be pinned back and will spend much of the afternoon with one of the fastest and most dangerous attacking talents in the league running at him.
For someone who is successful in only 65% of his tackles this could well become a long afternoon. Meanwhile, Salah could make his game a lot easier by running at Williams and causing him to pick up an early booking, whilst Nunez also tends to drift wide right during games and draws a further 0.79 fouls per 90.
With Trent Alexander-Arnold sitting behind these two attempting to create overloads, and Liverpool likely to dominate the ball and territory, Williams is likely to find himself isolated one-on-one often and potentially needing to make fouls when they are overloaded to prevent his former side getting in behind.
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How to watch Nottingham Forest v Liverpool in the Premier League?
📅 When is Nottingham Forest v Liverpool? / Saturday, 22 October 2022, 12:30
🏟 Where is Nottingham Forest v Liverpool? / The City Ground (Nottingham)
📺 What TV channel is Nottingham Forest v Liverpool on? / BT Sport 1 🟨 …And who is the referee for Nottingham Forest v Liverpool? / P. Tierney 🏴