EPL Match Preview – Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest Betting Tips: CFC Strong Favourites

Raheem SterlingHaving got underway with a win last time out, Chelsea take on Nottingham Forest in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (3pm). Can the Blues pick up another win as they look to improve on what was a terrible campaign last time around? Or can the visitors cause an upset, as they did in West London last season? This CFC vs NFFC preview and betting tips aims to answer those questions.

It has been a little bit of an up-and-down start to the season for Chelsea under Mauricio Pochettino, who has so far overseen a draw, a loss and a win in the Premier League. First time out, they were a little bit all over the place when drawing with Liverpool on home soil, showing many of the same offensive deficiencies which plagued the previous campaign. On match-day two, they lost away to West Ham, showing not only a lack of attacking quality, but a lack of defensive solidity too.

Sure, they got off the mark last time out, beating Luton, who really do look like a fish out of water at this level, so we probably shouldn’t overreact to that result. Time will soon tell if this new Chelsea team can do better than the previous one.

For Forest, it really hasn’t been a bad start to the season. First time out, they did lose to Arsenal, but losing by the slightest of margins at the Emirates isn’t something to be too disappointed about. They did show moments of promise, especially from forward Taiwo Awoniyi, who has enjoyed a fruitful start to the campaign, one that continued with a goal during the match-day two win over Sheffield United.

On match-day three, Forest surged into a two-goal lead at Old Trafford, with Awoniyi once again scoring, though they lacked the defensive nous to protect their lead, before a second-half red card really did put a stop to their plans of taking something from the game. Still, there were positives to be had.

CFC still not firing offensively

Sure, we saw this new Chelsea team score a few goals against Luton last time out, but with all respect, scoring against a team that really does look to be in for a torrid time in the Premier League probably isn’t anything to write home about.

For some time, the Blues have lacked an out-and-out goal-getter. In their three games this season, they have created a reasonable number of chances, but there is still this lack of cutting edge at the top of the pitch. We saw Sterling score twice last time out, but can the former Man City man be counted on to score regularly? If last season is anything to go by, absolutely not.

New manager Pochettino will be hoping that summer signing Nicolas Jackson can provide a steady stream of goals having got off the mark against Luton. The Senegalese striker arrives at Stamford Bridge having scored 12 goals in La Liga for Villarreal last season.

NFFC have a goal-getter in their midst

While it remains to be seen whether or not Chelsea have a regular goalscorer to call upon this season, Nottingham Forest seemingly have a man to provide the goals. Taiwo Awoniyi reached double figures in his first Premier League campaign last time around, scoring ten goals in 27 games after signing from Union Berlin in Germany.

The physically imposing forward has got off to a flying season this time too, shaping as though he is now well and truly ready to serve as a regular goal-getter at this level. The Nigerian has scored in each of Nottingham Forest’s first three league games. If the creative players plying their trade for the Tricky Trees can continue to serve the big man, then the goals should continue to come.

In their first three games, though they have lost two of them, Steve Cooper’s men have shown that they’ve perhaps got more to offer this season offensively, creating plenty and scoring a total of five goals.

Forest holding their own

In two games during their first Premier League season in two decades, Forest held their own against Chelsea. When the pair met in Nottingham during the last campaign, they drew 1-1, before the team once famously managed to European glory by Brian Clough came from behind to deny Chelsea the points at Stamford Bridge back in May. Awoniyi was at the double on that occasion.

Both teams can find joy

In the early betting, the Blues are heavily fancied to get a result here at 1/3 with the leading online bookmakers. Perhaps they will prove too strong, but at the prices, the home win offers little value. Given what we’ve seen from the pair so far, it would be hard to put anyone off a punt on the visitors, who’ve shaped like a team that could cause a few upsets this season. After all, they very nearly did that at Old Trafford last weekend.

However, for me, ‘Both Teams to Score’ is the standout play ahead of this fixture. For starters, even if the hosts still lack the level of offensive quality to really challenge with the biggest and best, they probably have shown enough to suggest that they can hurt a Forest backline that is without a clean sheet, though they’ve not covered themselves in defensive glory, so don’t be surprised if they trip up at the back.

After all, NFFC, for all they’ve conceded with regularity at the start of this season, have looked useful going forward. In Gibbs-White and Brennan Johnson, they’ve got players who can carve out chances and threaten on the break, while we’ve already seen how effective Awoniyi can be in front of goal.

Both teams have scored in five of the pair’s six combined Premier League games so far this season, and while odds of 10/11 are available, betting on something similar to occur here is worthwhile. So for this preview’s CFC vs NFFC betting tips, this one appeals: