Thursday, April 25, 2024

Prediction: Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest

Verdict: Home win and total goals under 3.5

Best odds: 9/10

Bookmaker: BetUS

With the goal of securing a three-match winning streak, which they haven’t achieved since March, Chelsea is set to host Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge for a Premier League clash on Saturday afternoon.

In their most recent fixture, Mauricio Pochettino’s team narrowly secured a 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Cup’s second round. Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest were eliminated by Burnley in the same round of the competition.

Chelsea

When Chelsea faced League Two opponents Wimbledon in their Carabao Cup second-round match, it was almost certain that numerous changes would be made to the lineup. They entered the competition in the second round due to their absence from European football. Despite fielding several young talents, they found themselves stunned by an early James Tilley penalty.

Nevertheless, Noni Madueke’s own penalty just before half-time restored the balance for Chelsea. The Blues simply had to bring on some of their more experienced players in the second half. Ultimately, Pochettino’s squad managed to secure a victory thanks to a winning goal from Enzo Fernandez.

While Chelsea faced difficulties in their Carabao Cup match, their Premier League victory over Luton Town was much more convincing, especially after they ignited their performance. Raheem Sterling scored twice and assisted Nicolas Jackson in a remarkable individual display.

With a total of four points from their first three games, Chelsea currently stands in 10th place in the Premier League, reminiscent of their position last season. However, their 3-0 win against Luton Town put an end to an eight-match home winless streak in the Premier League. This victory also marked Chelsea’s first clean sheet in the Premier League since April. They have gone undefeated in their last four Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge.

Although their upcoming opponents have caused concerns for other ‘big-six’ teams this season, Chelsea will aim to continue their positive trend.

Team News

Mauricio Pochettino’s squad is dealing with a significant number of injury issues, with no new injuries reported. However, there are 10 players currently unavailable due to various injuries, and it’s unlikely that any of them will be back before the international break.

The list of absentees includes Romeo Lavia (fitness), Armando Broja (knee), Wesley Fofana (knee), Benoit Badiashile (thigh), Marcus Bettinelli (unspecified), Christopher Nkunku (knee), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee), Reece James (thigh), Mykhaylo Mudryk (unspecified), and Trevoh Chalobah (thigh).

Marc Cucurella started in the match against Wimbledon but there is a possibility that he might leave for Manchester United before the transfer deadline on Friday.

Following a few missed opportunities from the younger players in the midweek game, Pochettino is likely to bring back more experienced players for the upcoming match. Players like Sterling, Jackson, Fernandez, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, and Moises Caicedo could return to the starting lineup. The availability of Cole Palmer from Manchester City for his debut remains uncertain, depending on a successful and timely completion of his transfer.

Nottingham Forest

After putting up a strong fight against Arsenal and securing a late victory against newly-promoted Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest experienced a dream start at the Theatre of Dreams last weekend. They stormed into a two-goal lead against Manchester United with Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal and Willy Boly’s header.

Under Steve Cooper’s guidance, Nottingham Forest became the first team to ever take a 2-0 lead against Manchester United within the first four minutes of a Premier League match. However, their early success was short-lived as the resurgent Red Devils quickly responded. Christian Eriksen and Casemiro scored to level the game before Joe Worrall received a red card and was sent off.

Despite being reduced to 10 men, Forest fought hard to hold off United. However, their efforts were in vain as Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty after Danilo brought down Marcus Rashford, completing a remarkable comeback by the Red Devils.

Cooper’s team also suffered defeat in the Carabao Cup against Burnley, with a late goal by Zeki Amdouni securing victory for the Clarets.

Having suffered three losses in their first four matches of the new season, Forest’s record is not exactly impressive. However, their 14th-place position in the table doesn’t tell the whole story, as they can take some pride from their recent performances against strong opponents.

Forest managed to hold Chelsea to two draws during the 2022/23 Premier League season, including a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. However, their away record is not very good, with no wins in their last 12 top-flight matches on the road against their rivals, despite managing to score in each of their last six such encounters.

Team News

Worrall will be eligible to return from his one-match suspension for the upcoming weekend. However, there are doubts about the centre-back’s availability to play due to a tragic incident involving his uncle, who was a policeman and lost his life while trying to assist a man on railway tracks.

Defender Scott McKenna is dealing with a hamstring injury, while Felipe is recovering from a knee issue. Wayne Hennessey is also sidelined with a knee injury, and Orel Mangala is undergoing treatment as well. Additionally, Andrey Santos is unable to face his parent club.

Nuno Tavares, who plays as a left-back for Arsenal, is expected to join Nottingham Forest on loan in the near future. Likewise, 21-year-old Corinthians defender Murillo is set to arrive at the City Ground. However, these players might need to wait a bit before making their debuts for their new club. Despite interest from Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford, it appears that Brennan Johnson will remain with Nottingham Forest for now.

Conclusion

Given the fight Forest put up against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, Chelsea shouldn’t expect an easy ride either, even if the match is being played at Stamford Bridge. A narrow Chelsea win seems to be on the cards, with Sterling in the main role again.

Verdict: Home win and total goals under 3.5

Best odds: 9/10

Bookmaker: BetUS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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