Nottingham Forest vs West Ham Preview & Betting Tips: Glut of Goals?

Callum Hudson-OdoiAfter what was undoubtedly a hard loss to take, Nottingham Forest get back down to business on Saturday afternoon by welcoming West Ham to the City Ground (3pm). The Hammers also need to bounce back after that humiliating defeat on home soil, but can they do it? Read on for our NFFC vs WHUFC preview with betting tips.

As has become the norm under Nuno Espirito Santo, the Nottingham Forest team were once again competitive last time out, as they tussled with a strong Newcastle United. NFFC responded twice after going behind but were unable to repeat that trick a third time and thus failed to win in the Premier League for the fourth straight game. Yet again, a dodgy defence cost them and they will now be looking to tighten up.

The visiting Hammers also approach this game looking for better after receiving back-to-back thrashings. First they were put in their place at Old Trafford, losing 0-3, while they were well and truly brushed aside by a rampant Arsenal side at the London Stadium on Sunday, conceding six goals and failing to score on their way to a hideous defeat. They are now without a win in five Premier League games.

Tricky Trees too open

As we’ve seen on several occasions since Forest began their new era under Nuno, too many goals are flying in at the wrong end. In that game against Newcastle on Saturday evening, we saw that this is a team with plenty of pace and power in the final third. Both Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi caused the Magpies numerous problems, both getting on the scoresheet in good style. Once again such valiant efforts were counteracted by being far too open at the back.

Saturday’s hosts have now conceded two or more goals in three of their last four games in all competitions, as well as in each of their last two in the Premier League. In fact, since Nuno took over, they have kept no clean sheets in seven EPL games, conceding multiple times in five of those seven.

Hammers hopeless at the back

Fortunately for the hosts, they are up against a West Ham team that has also looked in very poor shape defensively. David Moyes’ men have now conceded nine goals in just two games, while they are without a clean sheet in six. They have conceded two or more goals in three of their last four Premier League fixtures.

Away from home in general this season, shutouts have also been few and far between. In fact, Saturday’s visitors have kept only three travelling clean sheets in all competitions this term, which isn’t great considering that they’ve played no fewer than 18 away games. Perhaps competing on so many fronts, with FA Cup replays, them being in Europe and going deep into the EFL Cup, has simply been too much for the Hammers to handle.

Home teams on top

Since Forest re-entered England’s top division, they have faced the Hammers on three occasions. In the first renewal of this fixture for seven years, the Tricky Trees came out on top by a goal to nil at this venue. They have since lost back-to-back games against Saturday’s opponents, both in London, losing 4-0 last season and 3-2 earlier in the current campaign. Therefore, it is fair to say that in recent times, this fixture has been dominated by the home teams.

Goals going in at City Ground?

With neither team smelling of roses at the back, we could quite easily see a glut of goals on Saturday afternoon, and in the early betting with our top-rated online bookmakers, it’s worth taking that view by betting on ‘Over 3.5 Goals’, which for those who don’t know pays out as a winner if four goals or more are scored.

The hosts can hardly avoid a high-scoring game at home at the minute, with three or more goals being scored in each of their last four home matches in the league. Four or more goals have been scored in three of those four games. It is much the same for the Hammers on the road, as at least three goals have been scored in four of their last five away league games.

Both teams are likely to see that as an opportunity to score goals and rightly so. We’ve seen the visitors concede two or more goals in three of their last four in the league. As touched on above, opposition goals have been easy to come at the City Ground, with Newcastle, Arsenal, Blackpool and Bournemouth all scoring at least twice since Nuno took charge.

The reverse fixture, in which the pair shared five goals, should have both teams licking their lips too. On that occasion, both teams found it easy to create chances, while both struggled to keep things tight, which points towards a high-scorer here.

It is also worth mentioning how poorly both teams rank in terms of expected goals conceded in their respective home and away games. At home, Forest have surrendered an average of 1.50 per game, making them the fifth worst team in the division in that respect. On the road, on average, no team has conceded more expected goals than West Ham, who have surrendered a rather poor average of 1.95, further fuelling the fire of a bet that favours a high-scoring outcome here. So, for the EPL match betting tips, go with this pick for this NFFC vs WHUFC preview:

  • Over 3.5 Goals @ best odds of 11/5 with Bet365.