Nottingham Forest vs Man City – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 18th February 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we look at Man City’s visit to the City Ground. Forest were poor last time out, and City are hitting form at the right time. Comfortable away win? Read on with our Nottingham Forest vs Man City prediction.
Nottingham Forest vs Man City Match Preview
Nottingham Forest have been in impressive form since the World Cup break but were given something of a reality check away to a Fulham side who are in contention for a European place. Forest failed to carry any real attacking threat and despite limiting the west London side to three shots on target, Fulham converted two of them to condemn Cooper’s men to their first Premier League defeat since their 3-0 loss against Manchester United in late December.
Forest still find themselves six points clear of the relegation zone after Everton failed to get anything from last weekend’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool. While their away form has been abysmal when their season is examined in its entirety, they went into the Fulham match on the back of an away win against Southampton and a draw against Bournemouth. Their home form is much more impressive, as they have taken 18 points from 11 matches and sit in 10th in the home league table, sandwiched between Chelsea and Brighton.
Man City have responded excellently following their dismal performance in a 1-0 defeat away to Spurs two weeks ago and now find themselves at the summit of the Premier League table, albeit having played a game more than Arsenal. A hugely dominant performance against an Aston Villa side who rarely threatened preceded a tactical shift against Arsenal for their top-of-the-table clash. Pep Guardiola admitted to making a tactical error in playing Bernardo Silva as an auxiliary left-back in the first half, and City were an altogether different proposition in the second half.
As their rivals around them are stumbling, with both Arsenal and Newcastle earning seven points in their last five games, and Manchester United with eight, City’s 12 points in their last five matches despite the poor performance against Spurs indicates that City are coming into form at just the right time. Arsenal certainly aren’t guaranteed to beat Aston Villa away from home, Newcastle face Liverpool who look like they have started to turn the corner, and Manchester United are at home to a Leicester side who have scored eight goals in two matches. City will certainly strengthen their credentials with a win at the City Ground.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Lingard, Yates
Will Not Play: Awoniyi, Biancone, Boly, Henderson, Kouyate, McKenna, Niakhate, Richards
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Stones
Nottingham Forest vs Man City Lineups (Predicted)
Nottingham Forest (4-3-3): Navas; Lodi, Worrall, McKenna, Aurier; Danilo, Freuler, Mangala; Gibbs-White; Johnson, Wood
Man City (4-3-3): Ederson; Ake, Laporte, Dias, Lewis; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Grealish, Mahrez, Haaland
Nottingham Forest vs Man City Analysis
City’s Ability to Create
While it may seem to be an obvious talking point for a team which has scored 59 times in 23 Premier League matches, what we really mean here is City’s ability to consistently create chances without resorting to spamming crosses and hoping for a connection in the box. Occasionally this season, City have also been guilty of that aimless tactic, but lately, they are looking much more like their usual selves and Haaland is starting to play a more dynamic role in attack.
We’re not criticising the big Norwegian here – he is a remarkable goalscorer of course, but it’s noticeable in the games where he failed to make an impact that he cut something of a static, isolated figure. Haaland is much more effective when he is actively involved in the press and is constantly making intelligent runs both to have a run at goal and also as decoy runs to distract the opposition defence. He was far more imposing against Arsenal for example than against Aston Villa.
What does this mean for this particular game? Nottingham Forest at home are highly adept at defending their area and maintaining a compact shape. This means that barring either a bit of luck or a superb cross/attacking run onto the ball, generally speaking, it’s not an effective tactic to bombard them with aerial attacks. City will make use of the trickery of Mahrez and Grealish to stretch the play and get the likes of De Bruyne and Haaland involved as the space opens up between the Forest fullbacks and defenders.
Can Forest Hurt City on the Counter?
When playing at home, Nottingham Forest are almost a completely different team. We’re not entirely sure why this is the case. Home advantage is a recognised sporting phenomenon, but the difference in performance levels is stark. Whatever the reasons, Forest have only failed to score once at home this season, and that was against Spurs when they were struggling to integrate their myriad of new signings. So it’s logical to propose that they can achieve the same here, right?
We don’t think it’s quite as simple as that. While Forest have indeed been on a run of excellent form following the World Cup break, there have been signs that more difficult times lie ahead. Against Bournemouth, on the back of a good defensive performance against Southampton away from home and an excellent 2-0 home win against Leicester where they were by far the better team, Forest came undone at struggling Bournemouth and although they didn’t deserve to lose, they didn’t deserve to win either.
A 1-0 victory against Leeds was a great result for them, but honestly, they were outplayed for the majority of the match and were perhaps fortunate that Leeds made some poor decisions in the final third. Forest carried little threat themselves – six attempts in total and two on target. Very unlike Forest at home this season. How does this relate to Manchester City? Nottingham Forest had just one attempt on target against Fulham last time out. Their attacking approach isn’t working right now.
Despite the Premier League investigation into financial improprieties hanging over the club, City have been playing some superb stuff over the last two matches and look to be recapturing their attacking verve. Nottingham Forest are putting in some poor performances lately, including a 5-0 EFL Cup aggregate defeat to Manchester United.
City’s brand of expansive, attacking football appears to be Nottingham Forest’s Kryptonite. Though it would be perhaps unfair to use the precedent of a 6-0 defeat in August as a stick to beat Forest with given their initial struggles for team cohesion, the fact remains that tactically they’re still very much the same side. This isn’t to denigrate Steve Cooper or his charges, but there are levels to this game and with City also being a stylistic nightmare for Forest, we foresee goals.
Nottingham Forest 0-4 Man City
Nottingham Forest vs Man City Betting Tip – Man City -1 (Win by 2 Goals or More) Odds:
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