Thursday, December 7, 2023

Prediction: Manchester City vs Nottingham Forest

Verdict: Julian Alvarez to score anytime

Best Odds: 29/20

Bookmaker: Luckster

Looking to extend on their 100% start to the new Premier League campaign, Manchester City will welcome Nottingham Forest to the Etihad on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, managing to mount a crucial Champions League comeback earlier in the week as they eventually claimed a 3-1 victory at home against Red Star Belgrade, Manchester City have only continued to shine since opening up the new campaign. Making real history last season as they became the first English club since 1999 to be crowned treble champions, Pep Guardiola’s superstar squad will simply be looking to make another domestic statement here. Marking their return from September’s international break with another 3-1 win away at a high-flying West Ham last weekend, the former Barcelona boss has certainly seen his side come flying out of the traps this time around. Winning each of their opening five Premier League appearances this season and the only top-flight club that can boast a 100% start to proceedings, City are rightfully tipped as a landslide contender on Saturday afternoon.

Team News

All missing out on City’s Champions League opener against Red Star Belgrade earlier in the week, Manchester City will once again be unable to call upon the trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and John Stones.

Bagging a European brace in midweek and only continuing to shine so far this season, Argentina international Julian Alvarez will partner the record-breaking Erling Haaland in attack. Handed a full rest on Tuesday night, summer arrival Josko Gvardiol should be handed a return here.

Nottingham Forest

As for the visitors, while Nottingham Forest might have mounted their own second-half comeback earlier in the week, Steve Cooper’s men will feel that they missed out on a golden opportunity. Eventually having to settle for a 1-1 draw at home against Premier League returners Burnley, the former Swansea boss will know that his squad faces a heavyweight challenge here. Despite heading into September’s international break with a stunning 1-0 victory away at Chelsea, they should be concerned by a nightmare record against the reigning champions. Hit with a woeful 6-0 drumming when they last travelled to the Etihad 13 months ago, Cooper’s side will be bracing themselves for another stern examination here. Nevertheless, still putting seven points on the board from their opening five Premier League appearances, the mood in Forest’s camp should be at a continued high.

Team News

Missing Monday’s 1-1 draw against Burnley after picking up a thigh injury, Nottingham Forest are once again sweating over the fitness of 22-year-old Danilo. Likewise, former Tottenham defender Serge Aurier is not expected to feature on Saturday afternoon.

While attacking talisman Taiwo Awoniyi might have drawn back-to-back Premier League blanks on either side of the international break, the Nigerian international will spearhead Cooper’s charge this weekend. Making his full Forest debut earlier in the week, summer recruit Ibrahim Sangare will be hoping to keep his spot in midfield.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last met at the Etihad 13 months ago, Manchester City cruised their way to a routine 6-0 romp.
    • Despite claiming a 1-0 victory away at Chelsea on September 2nd, that is the only Premier League win that Nottingham Forest have claimed on their travels since way back on January 4th.
    • Bagging a brace on Champions League duties in midweek, Argentina international Julian Alvarez has now notched four goals in his previous five appearances.
    • The reigning Premier League champions have bagged 11 strikes in their previous three appearances across all formats.
    • Continuing on from last season, Forest have mustered just a single clean sheet from any of their last 23 straight outings.


    Eventually opening the defence of their Champions League crown with a 3-1 victory at home against Red Star Belgrade in midweek, Manchester City will simply be looking to lay down another marker here. Winning each of their opening five top-flight appearances and the only side that can boast a 100% start to proceedings, the red-hot Alvarez will be smelling the chance to extend on his recent flurry. Bagging a European brace earlier in the week and with four strikes in his previous five appearances, we are backing the World Cup winner to once again get himself on the scoresheet at the Etihad.

    Verdict: Julian Alvarez to score anytime

    Best Odds: 29/20

    Bookmaker: Luckster


    Tom Dunstan

    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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