Spurs vs Nottingham Forest – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 11th March 2023
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Nottingham Forest’s trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Forest’s away form is abysmal – they’ve scored 3 in 12 games. Can they turn things around here? Read on with our Spurs vs Nottingham Forest prediction.
Spurs vs Nottingham Forest Match Preview
While Spurs are currently occupying the fourth Champions League qualification spot, their form over the last 20 Premier League matches has been wildly inconsistent and more in keeping with a mid-table team. This isn’t intended as an attack on Conte’s team – the facts are that Spurs have lost nine of their last 20 games and sit in ninth place for that particular period of time. However, their excellent start to the season has served to keep them right in contention, although they’ll surely be aware of the need to improve between now and the end of the season to see off both Newcastle and a resurgent Liverpool team.
Spurs had such an opportunity last weekend against a Wolves side which has struggled for both goals and victories for much of the campaign. Although Spurs had the better of the game and could count themselves unlucky not to be a couple of goals ahead, Wolves turned the game on its head and eventually grabbed the winner through substitute Adama Traore in the 82nd minute to hand Spurs their ninth defeat of the season and their fifth away from home. With every rival for a European place next season having a game in hand or multiple games in hand except for Fulham, Spurs will need to take advantage of a kind fixture here.
That’s not to denigrate their opponents. Nottingham Forest are, so far, enjoying a season that has mostly gone to plan as they’ve hovered around the lower mid-table reaches for the last 10 games or so. However, there are signs of what might be a prolonged side, as their excellent home form which was propping them up has now yielded two points from two games. Although to be fair, one of those games was against Manchester City, dropping two points at home to a struggling Everton side hasn’t helped their cause.
It’s Forest’s dreadful away form which accounts for the difficulty they find themselves in. Along with Leeds and West Ham, they have the lowest away points total in the league but it’s also the manner in which they find themselves burdened with that unwanted statistic. Forest have scored just three goals in 12 away matches, and have often been completely outclassed away from home in the Premier League. A severe reminder of this came in the form of a 4-0 defeat to a West Ham team that are fighting relegation and still three points adrift of Cooper’s men. In order to survive, it’s incumbent upon Forest to toughen up away from home.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Bentancur, Bissouma, Lloris, Sessegnon
Might Not Play: Kouyate, Niakhate
Will Not Play: Awoniyi, Biancone, Boly, Henderson, McKenna, Richards
Spurs vs Nottingham Forest (Predicted)
Spurs (3-4-3): Forster; Davies, Lenglet, Romero; Perisic, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Porro; Son, Kane, Kulusevski
Nottingham Forest (4-3-2-1): Navas; Lodi, Worrall, Felipe, Aurier; Colback, Freuler, Shelvey; Gibbs-White, Johnson; Wood
Spurs vs Nottingham Forest Analysis
Spurs Must Be Patient
We don’t expect Forest to have much ambition away from home in the Premier League, whatever their protestations to the contrary are in the media. No manager or player is ever going to publicly admit to having no ambition in away games, so we’ll let Forest’s away performances speak for themselves. Unless they’re up against the likes of Bournemouth and Southampton, they’re far too passive away from home and they get caught out frequently when trying to generate a threat of their own. The disparity between their home and away form truly is enormous.
This means that Spurs should prioritise generating clear chances and making the extra pass when necessary. Forest have demonstrated, at home at least, that they can defend compactly and take away the option of launching hopeful crosses into the box. Spurs may be inconsistent, but they do have enough quality to take their time and break Forest down. Against West Ham, they didn’t make their breakthrough until the 56th minute and they were in control away to Wolves but were denied a couple of times by the woodwork. This time, they’re facing a side that generates even less of an attacking threat.
Forest Could Get at Spurs on the Break
While this reads like a cliche, it’s true nonetheless. Particularly as Spurs are somewhat lightweight in midfield without Bentancur or his natural backup Bissouma. Spurs’ tendency to play with wing-backs high up the pitch and a back three which has been error-prone at various points this season (36 goals conceded in the Premier League this season tells its own story) means that if Forest can be positive and direct in possession and get their full-backs up the pitch into vacated space (particularly Aurier), then they can create dangerous situations.
It’s likely for this one that Forest will have a numerical advantage against Spurs in midfield, at least nominally. Though Kane likes to drop into midfield at times, Forest will likely have Colback, Shelvey and Freuler in there against Hojbjerg and Skipp. While we’re not suggesting that Forest will be looking to get on the ball and camp in Spurs’ half, this extra option in midfield could provide them with another outlet in a scrappy midfield contest and allow them to have more of the ball than perhaps they’re used to against a big Premier League outfit.
We can’t look past Forest’s terrible away form. That’s not to say that they’ll necessarily be poor from start to finish, it’s just incredibly difficult to see how and where the goals are coming to come from bar mistakes, a red card, a penalty etc. We can argue that most goals come from mistakes, but Forest’s poor record away from home in front of goal speaks for itself.
Nottingham Forest have scored away against three teams – Everton, Bournemouth and Southampton. All three are battling relegation right now. While Spurs are wildly inconsistent, they’re clearly not in that company and with Conte preferring not to deviate from his three at the back even against lesser opposition, it’s unlikely that Forest will score here. Spurs are not in devastating goalscoring form either, so we back a comfortable, routine victory for the hosts.
Spurs 2-0 Nottingham Forest
Spurs vs Nottingham Forest Betting Tip – Spurs -1 (Win by 2 or More) Odds:
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