Nottingham Forest vs Brighton – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Wednesday 26th April 2023
As part of our midweek Premier League predictions, we look at Brighton’s trip to Nottingham. Forest have just 3 points from 10 games and are in trouble. Can they stop an impressive Brighton team? Read on with our Nottingham Forest vs Brighton prediction.
Nottingham Forest vs Brighton Match Preview
It’s fair to say that Nottingham Forest’s recent collapse in form has been spectacular. They were doing brilliantly following the post-World Cup restart, and had managed to pull themselves clear from trouble before a horrendous run of form of three draws and seven defeats from their last 10 Premier League matches pulled them right back in again. Now, Cooper’s men are two points from safety, albeit with a game in hand over 16th and 17th placed Leeds and Leicester.
Despite this, they threatened to give Liverpool a bloody nose at Anfield. They held on for 0-0 at half time having restricted the home side to 2 shots on target and hit back within four minutes of Liverpool taking the lead at the start of the second half. Forest were able to equalise a second time before Salah’s 70th minute winner, but they hit the target four times (equal to Liverpool’s four) in the second half and while they perhaps weren’t unlucky to lose, they gave a decent account of themselves.
Ultimately, however, that was the fourth successive Premier League defeat and with just six games remaining they won’t get any prizes for admirable efforts. They have an enormous opportunity in their home match on the 8th of May against Southampton to earn some points at their relegation rival’s expense, and they’ll hoping that the likes of Brentford, Chelsea and Crystal Palace will have their eyes on next season as they’re neither threatened by relegation nor likely to challenge for European football.
Following an agonising defeat to Manchester United on penalties in their weekend FA Cup semi-final clash, Brighton can now return their attention to their impressive league campaign in which they’re firmly in the hunt for European football next season. A deserved 2-1 victory away to a mediocre Chelsea team went some way to redressing the balance following an unfortunate 2-1 defeat away to Spurs.
The race for European football is delicately poised. This is due to Brighton’s games in hand over the teams above them – four, in the case of Aston Villa. It’s a double-edged sword for De Zerbi’s men – they have opportunities, but also a fixture pileup at the end of the season with four matches in 10 days which will test their squad depth to its limits.
Three difficult away days at Newcastle United, Arsenal and Aston Villa, and two home matches against the Manchester clubs add to the feeling that though Brighton have the advantage of games in hand, the run-in is likely to be extremely tight. On their day, Brighton are capable of beating or at least pushing any team in the league, but this will undoubtedly be a gruelling month for a relatively small squad a team that plays an intense pressing game while out of possession.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Colback, Scarpa, Shelvey
Will Not Play: Aurier, Biancone, Boly, Henderson, Kouyate, McKenna, Richards, Wood, Yates
Might Not Play: Ferguson, Welbeck
Will Not Play: Lallana, Lamptey, Sarmiento
Nottingham Forest vs Brighton Lineups (Predicted)
Nottingham Forest (3-4-2-1): Navas; Worrall, Niakhate, Felipe; Mangala, Freuler, Williams, Lodi; Johnson, Gibbs-White; Awoniyi
Brighton (4-2-3-1): Steele; Estupinan, Dunk, Colwill, Gross; Caicedo, Mac Allister; Mitoma, March, Enciso; Welbeck
Nottingham Forest vs Brighton Analysis
Forest Will Prioritise Keeping Things Tight
Despite their recent run of form, Forest will be acutely aware that their last encounter with Brighton finished in a 0-0 draw as the south coast side laboured to find a breakthrough. It’s vital that Forest start to pick up some points, and their best chance in this match is undoubtedly going to be found in playing a low block and counterattacking at speed.
This approach also helps to negate Brighton’s fearsome attacking ability in transition. While they do build up from the back as opposed to playing out more directly, they do so with the intention of drawing the opposition in to create space for them to attack rapidly. It’s a risky approach, but one which has brought them a lot of success under Roberto De Zerbi.
Forest will know that if they can force Brighton to take the initiative then at least they’ll have the opportunity to restrict them to half chances if they defend well, and perhaps have the opportunity to break from time to time. Nottingham Forest have shown on occasions this season that they are able to exploit ball-dominant teams when they overcommit, and stopping the counter attack has been a weakness at times for Brighton.
Brighton Can Overwhelm Forest
In addition to poor results, Forest are often being outplayed and have at least nine players who would either be in the starting lineup or contribute from the bench out through injury. That figure is likely to rise to 12 for this particular match with Colback, Scarpa and Shelvey all out through injury or other reasons. Though we think that Forest’s best chance is to play low block and counter, and they will prioritise safety-first, they need a positive result in this match and Brighton are an extremely difficult team to play for a side low on confidence.
While Forest can threaten Premier League teams with their ability on the counter, it’s their inability to play the ball out from the back at this level that is likely to hurt them here. Brighton’s high press is well coordinated and largely independent of who actually plays – there are seemingly no egos in this team and they all play their part out of possession.
We see similarities between this Nottingham Forest side and Bournemouth. Bournemouth were in much better form than this Nottingham Forest side is in currently, yet Brighton emerged with a clean sheet and a 2-0 victory. They were able to adjust in the second half to limit their opponent’s threat in transition, and we don’t think that Forest are in the kind of form to cause them as many headaches as they did in the first half.
It’s difficult to see how Nottingham Forest can get anything in this one. Yes, they did score twice at Anfield, but Liverpool are taking big risks from game to game in order to supplement their attack and they have been leaving themselves wide open on a regular basis. Brighton are improving at defending in transition – yes, there are a number of tactical fouls as has become de rigeur at the highest level of football, but it’s effective.
Forest are likely to find themselves smothered for much of the game and unable to get anything coherent in transition unless Brighton are particularly reckless. It’s interesting to note that Brighton were able to stop Manchester United scoring for 120 minutes and they are a team who are one of the Premier League’s best in transition. Given that Forest are likely to be counter attacking for much of the match and don’t possess that kind of quality, we’re backing Brighton for a relatively comfortable 2-0 win.
Nottingham Forest 0-2 Brighton
Nottingham Forest vs Brighton Betting Tip – Brighton Odds:
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