Crews who have experienced contrasting fortunes lock horns in the Premier League on Saturday (3pm). Nottingham Forest host Bournemouth at the City Ground, where the hosts are without a win in three games. Can they change that here? Or will the visitors continue their fine run of form? This NFFC vs AFCB preview, with its betting tips, hopes to answer those questions.
Things went from bad to worse for Nottingham Forest last time out, as they suffered a fifth defeat in six games, thanks to a ruthless Spurs side that made relatively light work of claiming a 2-0 win, despite playing the last quarter of the game with only ten men. That defeat prompted the powers that be to act and they did so by waving goodbye to manager Steve Cooper. The Forest board also acted quickly in terms of replacing Cooper, bringing in Nuno Espirito Santo, who has EPL management experience having previously managed Wolves and Tottenham (briefly).
In complete contrast, there seems to be no real pressure on Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola, who has inspired his team to go five games unbeaten, four of which they have won. The Cherries will go to Forest off the back of that thumping 0-3 win away at Old Trafford last time out. They have now won three away games on the bounce, which should mean that they are full of confidence ahead of this one.
Notts Forest still fighting at home
Sure, the hosts come here out of form and they have just sacked their manager, though realistically, it is fair to say that Forest have put up a fight in front of their own fans this season. They lost only one of their first five home games, while they have scored at least once in seven out of eight at the City Ground, which is far from terrible. They have found it tough to keep teams out, but they’ve not often conceded a glut of goals, conceding two or more in only three out of eight.
Of course, they have lost each of their last two at home without scoring, but it’s absolutely fair to say that they offered a decent amount going forward against Spurs last time out, especially when their talismanic Morgan Gibbs-White got on the ball. If the new manager can keep him on side, then Forest should continue to threaten teams in front of their own fans.
AFCB now scoring with regularity
At the start of the campaign, the Cherries looked as if they may lack final-third quality, scoring just two goals in their first three matches. They have since put those concerns to bed and in recent weeks, have become something of a free-scoring team. They are now the second highest scoring team in the bottom eight and maybe their ability to score goals will be what keeps them up.
There were quite sizable question marks regarding Dominic Solanke’s ability to cut it as a regular Premier League goal-getter, but the Englishman has impressed for the Cherries this time around, scoring a career-best of nine top-flight goals. Something has clearly clicked for the front-man, as he has scored those nine goals in 17 games, and prior to this season, he’d scored nine Premier League goals in no less than 75 games. Throw in Marcus Tavernier, Philip Billing and Antoine Semenyo, who have 13 goals and assists between them, and the team from the south coast look to have an attack that can deal out some real pain. It is one that could quite easily cause problems for Saturday’s relegation-threatened hosts.
Cherries on top
This is a fixture that Saturday’s visitors AFC Bournemouth have largely dominated in recent times. The Cherries have won three of their last four games against Nottingham Forest, while they are now unbeaten in six against Saturday’s hosts. When they visited the City Ground last season, they came from two goals down to take all three points, thanks to a fine second-half display inspired by goals from Solanke and Billing, both of whom remain key players.
Both teams to net at the City Ground
In the betting with the leading British-based online bookmakers, ‘Both Teams to Score’ makes plenty of appeal in terms of betting tips. The visitors arrive at this juncture in fine scoring form and with their tails up. They will be looking to hurt the hosts, who have not really dealt in clean sheets at home this term. At the same time, though, the Forest squad, who will be keen to impress the new boss, have shown that they can score goals at home. NFFC will fancy themselves to expose Bournemouth’s gaps at the back.
As touched on in this preview above, the hosts have scored in six out of eight at home, and even though they didn’t score at home to Tottenham last time out, they did create chances, posting a decent 1.47 expected goals. Throw into the mix that the Cherries have scored in each of their last four on the road, notching an impressive total of nine goals in the process, and the prospect of both teams scoring here starts to look very real indeed.
What is more, this season, both teams have scored in four of Nottingham Forest’s five home games against teams currently in the bottom half. Adding further fire to the flame is the fact that both EPL outfits are likely to view this as a game to go after, much as they did when scoring against each other home and away last season. So don’t be surprised if both teams find the net at the City Ground on Saturday and regards betting tips, we rely on that one:
- Both Teams to Score at best odds of 7/10 with Bet365.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.