Brentford vs Nottingham Forest EPL Match Preview & Betting Tips: Go For Goals

Ivan ToneyIt is back to business in the Premier League for both Brentford and Nottingham Forest on Saturday (5.30pm). The hosts come here after an agonising extra-time FA Cup defeat in the week, while the visitors will also be looking for better after they were sent to extra-time by League One opposition on Wednesday. Can either target what they need? This Brentford Bees vs NFFC preview, with its betting tips, plans to answer that.

The Bees would have been looking to put an end to their poor run as they took on Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t to be for Thomas Frank’s men, who fought hard but eventually went down to an extra-time penalty. Brentford have now gone a worrying seven games in all competitions without winning. More concerning is the fact that they have played five Premier League games during that time and have lost them all.

For the visitors, NFFC, things haven’t been so bad of late. Sure, the best they could muster was a draw (in normal time, before edging ahead in extra time) against League One’s Blackpool on Wednesday evening. It would probably have been described by Nuno Espirito Santo as less-than-ideal replay and it is not as if they weren’t on top throughout the game. Prior to that, they had been in promising form, winning back-to-back Premier League games for the first time this season, beating both Newcastle and Manchester United.

Bees cannot keep it tight

Right now, the Bees’ main problem is a lack of defensive solidity. They have had their share of offensive issues, with injuries to summer signing Kevin Schade and more importantly, key man Bryan Mbeumo. They have still managed to score with regularity, while they’re about to get a sizable boost from the returning Ivan Toney, who has now completed his lengthy ban. In the defensive third, though, there is little sign of improvement, which is a worry. Saturday’s hosts are without a clean sheet since October. They have now gone 11 games in all competitions without shutting their opponents out, conceding two or more in seven of those 11. Therein lies the problem.

Notts Forest fighting hard under Nuno

It is of course far too early to say that Nuno Espirito Santo has turned things around at Forest. It is certainly fair to say that the Portuguese manager has got a positive reaction from the players, who have come together to lose just one out of four since the new man took charge, recently forming a three-game unbeaten run.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Nuno has galvanised the team offensively, getting a sweeter tune out of the likes of Morgan Gibbs-White and Nicolas Dominguez, both of whom have now scored in two games on the spin, than Steve Cooper was able to. Striker Chris Wood has also come good since the managerial change, which has been ideal given the absence of Taiwo Awoniyi, who has been injured since the middle of November.

In the five games since Cooper left, the Tricky Trees have scored an impressive total of 12 goals, netting two or more in each of those matches. Their newfound offensive productivity has certainly allowed them to stay in the fight and if they can continue to hurt teams, they will have every chance of surviving this season.

Visitors Nottingham Forest searching for rare win

In recent times, this is not a fixture that has been too kind to Nottingham Forest. They are without a win in their last five games against Brentford, two of which they have lost. When the pair met earlier in the campaign, back in early October, they drew 1-1, despite Forest being reduced in numbers thanks to the early second-half dismissal of Moussa Niakhate. Nicolas Dominguez cancelled out Christian Norgaard’s opener on that occasion to secure what was undoubtedly a much better point for Forest than it was for the Bees.

Goals on the menu at the Gtech

There is plenty to suggest that this fixture could be blessed with goals, and at the current prices, it’s worth betting that the goals do indeed flow at the Gtech on Saturday evening.

As we saw on Tuesday evening, both teams have the quality to make headway in the final third, but it is absolutely no secret that both are struggling to keep things tight at the back. Therefore, both the hosts and the visitors should see this as a game to attack. Neither team has defended in a manner that will scare the other, so don’t be surprised if we witness no shortage of goals here.

After all, three or more goals have been scored in six of Brentford’s last eight in all competitions, as well as in five of their last six in the Premier League. As touched on in this Bees vs NFFC preview already, under their new manager, the Forest forward line has enjoyed itself, scoring lots of goals of late. The backline has not been up to scratch, with Saturday’s visitors shipping goals left, right and centre. Each of their five games under Nuno has produced at least three goals, so ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ is the way to go with the safest UK bookies.

An additional play is ‘Brentford to Score Over 1.5 Goals’. The Forest rear-guard has looked anything but sturdy in recent weeks. If anything, it has been rather generous. Consider this in conjunction with the fact that the Bees are usually very creative at home against bottom-half teams, creating expected goals totals of 2.32 and 2.84 in recent home games against Wolves and Luton. Add in that goal-getter Ivan Toney is back too and multiple home goals become hard to oppose. So the betting tips for this Brentford Bees vs Notts Forest EPL match preview are:

  • Over 2.5 Goals @ best odds of 9/10 with Bet365.
  • Brentford to Score Over 1.5 Goals @ a biggest price of 10/11 with Bet365, William Hill or Betfred bookmakers.