Nottm Forest v Sheff Utd | Match Preview, Odds and Prediction
Nottingham Forest welcome Sheffield United to the City Ground on Friday evening and will be desperate for a win after their losing start to the new Premier League season. United lost their opening day match too, so they’ll also have extra motivation to get a result in the Midlands.
Forest suffered a narrow defeat to Arsenal but will take confidence from their performance at the Emirates Stadium. The Reds went 2-0 down after half an hour but halved the deficit after the break and came close to levelling the match before fulltime.
As for the Blades, they were outclassed by Crystal Palace despite only losing 1-0 at Bramall Lane, so it’s no surprise the bookmakers see them as underdogs this week. Forest have got the better of Sheff Utd in their last few head-to-heads too, last beating them in the Championship playoffs semi-finals, so a home win is expected.
Forest finished 16th in the Premier League last season with 38 points from as many games. The Reds enjoyed a strong finish to the campaign, winning three and drawing two of their last six games, so they’re wanting to pick up where they left off.
The Arsenal defeat won’t have saddened them too much and Forest having been in the top-flight for a year at this point could give them the edge over United. Cooper’s men lost only two of their last 15 home games in the league last season, so Forest are unsurprisingly 10/11 with Betfair To Win. The Reds were drawn specialists at home, however, with only four clubs playing out more stalemates (7) than Forest (6), so they’re also 13/5 with Quinn Bet To Draw.
United are underdogs but may fancy their chances of getting a result as Forest are expected to be embroiled in a relegation battle with the Blades. They stayed up by only four points last season and have spent modestly over the summer, so it’s hard to see Forest pulling up trees in the league. Sheff Utd are 18/5 with Unibet To Win.
Forest have a decent defensive record in their own backyard, keeping more clean sheets (6) than Arsenal (4), so the Reds are 2/1 with SkyBet To Win To Nil. Sheff Utd were solid away from home in the Championship last season, conceding only 20 goals from 23 games on the road, but they only scored 1.13 goals per game at the other end, so Friday’s clash could be a low-scoring affair.
Total Goals Under 2.5 is 7/10 with Unibet. If goals do some at the City Ground, who could be scoring them? Taiwo Awoniyi scored in the Arsenal defeat and is coming off the back of being Forest’s top scorer last season (27 PL games, 10 goals). The 26-year-old is 5/1 with Bet 365 to be First Goalscorer and 21/10 with Bet 365 to Score Anytime.
New-boy Bénie Traoré led the line for United against Palace and could be a regular in his debut season after scoring 24 goals with nine assists from 57 games for BK Hacken. He’s 9/1 with Boyle Sports to be First Goalscorer and 10/3 with Bet 365 to Score Anytime.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Sheff Utd