Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Sunday 28th May 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Nottingham Forest’s visit to Selhurst Park. With both sides safe, will it be Palace with the greater incentive at home? Free betting tips and more with our Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest prediction.
Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest Preview
Palace come into this final match of the season having ensured safety a few weeks ago. After a long winless run under Patrick Vieira, results and performances have improved since the return of wily old veteran Roy Hodgson. Hodgson’s experience has seen Palace win five of the nine league games since his return, collecting 17 points. They are also unbeaten in their last four games at Selhurst Park. Their 2-2 draw with Fulham last week was a relatively even affair in possession, passes completed and shots on target.
Palace will be happy with how the season has ended. Hodgson’s reappointment really turned their season around, and it has proved to be the right decision, at least in the short term. Had they stuck with Vieira, they could undoubtedly have been relegated. Instead, they will finish in either 11th or 12th place.
Forest make the trip south having confirmed their status as a Premier League team for next season with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal last weekend at the City Ground. An Awoniyi finish in the 20th minute sent the crowd into raptures. As expected, Arsenal massively dominated the ball, with 82 per cent possession and 640 completed passes to 81. Therefore, it was a smash-and-grab for the Midlands club, but that is to be expected against a much better team on paper. The important thing is that they won, and the scenes after the game were something special.
We have alluded to Forest’s terrible away record often in recent months. Seven away points all season, with only ten goals scored and a mammoth 43 conceded, is hugely disappointing. However, coach Steve Cooper will look to work on this record for next season while attempting to maintain their impressive home form. Forest can enjoy the final day, but they must work hard over pre-season. They have a massive squad and need more stability and improved performances in the next campaign.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Schlupp, Tomkins
Will Not Play: Ferguson, Milivojevic, Zaha
Might Not Play: Navas, Colback, Scarpa, Danilo, Lingard
Will Not Play: Henderson, Biancone, McKenna, Williams, Richards, Shelvey, Wood
Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest Lineups (Predicted)
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Johnstone; Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Ward; Doucoure, Hughes; Ayew, Eze, Olise; Edouard
Nottingham Forest (3-4-2-1 / 3-4-3): Navas; Felipe, Niakhate, Worrall; Lodi, Danilo Yates, Aurier; Gibbs-White, Johnson; Awoniyi
Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest Analysis
Palace Have Ended The Season Well Since Hodgson Was Appointed
Palace have been impressive since Hodgson took over. He steered them away from relegation and to safety, and now they (like Forest) can enjoy this game with the pressure off. It’s always tricky to predict how a side will line up in a dead rubber game, but we will work on the assumption that the Eagles go close to full strength.
The defenders must be mindful of crosses and set pieces coming in from Forest, as those are big weapons the Midlands team use. There will also be plenty of counter-attacks coming from Forest; indeed, we anticipate a rather end-to-end game as both sides are more comfortable when relinquishing possession. Therefore, the centre-backs and full-backs must make blocks and interceptions and stay in contact with their midfielders to compress the space between the lines.
When Palace can attack, they will look to Eze and Olise to be their creative outlets. Ayew is more of an industrious worker who makes the team more balanced. However, those two possess the passing, dribbling and magic moments to make something happen – indeed, Eze has been in excellent form over the last couple of months. Their speed and trickery, both in tight spaces and on transitions, will be vital. Edouard up front will also drop deeper to link play. He will also get himself into the box to get on the end of chances created by the Palace playmakers.
Forest Are Ecstatic At Safety And Can Play Without Pressure
As stated, the win over Arsenal last weekend at the City Ground has confirmed Forest’s place in next season’s Premier League. As such, they can play pressure-free and try to enjoy themselves. Cooper’s men will likely play more on the counter in this game as the away team (though, as said, both teams like to concede the ball). Forest’s issues away from home are well-documented. Their home form has kept them up, but they’ll try to win here to set a marker for better away form next season.
As with Palace, Forest’s centre-backs must stay tight with their midfield to prevent gaps for Eze and Olise to exploit. There will be plenty of heading crosses away and defending set pieces for both sides. Forest will look to Johnson and Gibbs-White to be their creators in attack. Gibbs-White has been in fine statistical form as the season has ended, and he and Awoniyi, more than anyone, have kept Forest in the league.
Gibbs-White’s passing, dribbling, pace and ability to play off and link with Awoniyi will give Forest a platform to give Palace something to think about. Gibbs-White offers invention and something different that Forest need. Lodi and Aurier will also supplement the attack from full-back.
While it feels wrong to label any competitive football match ‘meaningless’, it is undeniable that there is nothing riding on this game for both sides. This season’s final game is one where both clubs are safe (Palace have been for a while) and can go out and try to enjoy themselves. The lineups are so challenging to predict as there might be plenty of rotation with no jeopardy involved.
Thus, this could be quite an entertaining game. Both sides have plenty of pace and creativity in forward and wide areas. However, Forest’s away record is appalling (this is not too strong a word to use), and we can’t see that changing in this final game of the season. Palace will want to sign off until pre-season with a win, and we think they will.
Crystal Palace 2-1 Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest Betting Tip – Crystal Palace Odds:
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