Nottingham Forest vs Wolves – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 1st April 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Wolves’ visit to Nottingham. With neither side safe and in poor form, should we expect a scrappy encounter? Read on with our Nottingham Forest vs Wolves prediction.
Nottingham Forest vs Wolves Match Preview
Nottingham Forest meet Wolves at the City Ground in both teams’ first match following the international break for Euro 2024 qualifying. The hosts find themselves in the midst of a poor run of form which has effectively undone their post-World Cup break form. Last time out, Cooper’s men surrendered a one-goal lead at home to Newcastle in a match where they were outplayed for the majority of the game. While they could say that they limited the visitors to four shots on target, the xG stat of 2.59 – 0.41 in Newcastle’s favour is a fair reflection of proceedings.
This latest defeat leaves Forest just two points outside the relegation zone, but also leaves them just one point behind 12th placed Crystal Palace. The bottom nine in the Premier League are separated by just four points, and therefore a home win today against a Wolves side who are just one point ahead of them in the Premier League standings would be huge. Though Forest have failed to win in their last three home games, their home form this season has generally been impressive.
Wolves are also another team who have slipped lately following a brief resurgence under Lopetegui. Despite a valuable 1-0 home victory over Spurs, three defeats in their last four Premier League matches to Liverpool, Newcastle and a hugely disappointing 4-2 home defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Leeds United means that Wolves are once again caught up in the relegation dog-fight. Additionally, their opponents today have a game in hand over the Midlands side, therefore a defeat here could really put them in trouble.
Wolves may have dominated the xG, possession and shots on target statistics against Leeds United, but they failed to take a host of chances which is an issue that has plagued them all season long. While they can certainly draw confidence from their comeback from 3-0 down to 3-2, football at this level is rather unforgiving when it comes to missed chances and Wolves could have few complaints as the West Yorkshire side proceeded to put four past them.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Aurier, Awoniyi, Ayew, Dennis, Hennessey, Johnson, Kouyate, McKenna, Scarpa, Yates
Will Not Play: Biancone, Boly, Henderson, Richards, Wood
Might Not Play: Bueno, Hwang
Will Not Play: Chiquinho, Jonny, Kalajdzic
Nottingham Forest vs Wolves Lineups (Predicted)
Nottingham Forest (4-3-3): Navas; Lodi, Worrall, Felipe, Aurier; Mangala, Shelvey, Freuler; Gibbs-White, Lingard, Dennis
Wolves (4-2-3-1): Sa; Ait-Nouri, Dawson, Kilman, Semedo; Neves, Lemina; Neto, Joao Gomes, Podence; Jimenez
Nottingham Forest vs Wolves Analysis
Can Wolves Break Forest Down While Keeping it Tight?
Simply put, it is incumbent upon the away side to break Nottingham Forest down. Forest aren’t renowned for playing a particularly expansive style of football. Nor should they – despite the huge investment they have received in a daring gamble to preserve their Premier League status as a newly promoted side, they don’t yet have the quality at their disposal that some of their relegation rivals have and are better served by keeping things tight and hitting their opponents on the break when the opportunity allows.
Wolves average less than one goal per game in their Premier League away matches, with a paltry 10 goals from 14 games. While Forest possessing a decent home record and conceding at a rate of a touch over a goal per game, we don’t expect that Wolves will have the quality in attack required to run roughshod over Forest. We expect that they will be patient and take what the Forest defence will give them, whether those are opportunities from distance or from set pieces. Wolves will be wary of the fact that they conceded four last time out at home to Leeds and we don’t envisage a similarly gung-ho approach here.
Forest Have Been Better at Home… Until Recently
Most of you already know this, but Forest have been a different team at home when compared with their shambolic away form. A valid criticism of the East Midlands side is that, away from home, they’re too passive and place too high a priority on keeping things tight at the back while hoping to grab something at the other end from their opponent’s mistakes. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with adopting a more reactive approach, Forest have been taking this to extremes for much of the season and often, once they concede the first goal others will follow.
At home it has been a different story… until now. While we hesitate to suggest that the City Ground has been a fortress, their home record is reasonable. However, warning signs have started to appear. They were outplayed against both Everton and Newcastle in recent home matches, and they weren’t able to limit their opponents chances to half chances as they have done for much of the season. The organisation that has served them so well has been lacking of late – we can’t discount them putting in an improved performance here, but with a full blown injury crisis on their hands it’s possible that fatigue is a big factor here.
While we acknowledge that Forest recently played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Everton here a few games back, we don’t anticipate more of the same. Everton play with direct, structured counter attacks and aren’t afraid to take risks, which produced a more open game of football than perhaps one might expect. Wolves on the other hand have a well-earned reputation for caution and they will be wary of opening up quite as much as they did against Leeds United last time out.
Forest have been creating fewer and fewer chances with every passing game, and we expect that this lack of attacking endeavour and creativity will finally catch up with them here. We’re predicting a cagey affair in which Wolves eventually take one of their chances to hand Forest their fourth defeat in five matches.
Nottingham Forest 0-1 Wolves
Nottingham Forest vs Wolves Betting Tip – Wolves Odds:
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