Nottingham Forest have an unbeaten home run to protect, while Brighton & Hove Albion travel north to correct a six-game winless run.
Premier League action resumes with some mammoth clashes to look forward to. Nottingham Forest are vying to keep their brilliant home start intact as Steve Cooper eyes a fifth home game without a defeat when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to City Ground.
Forest could go unbeaten in their first five home games of the season only for the second time, with the most recent feat achieved in 1995. The Tricky Trees extended their unbeaten home run to eight games with that stellar victory over Aston Villa but could not repeat that form away top West Ham United.
Anthony Elanga and Taiwo Awonyi ensured Forest took the lead after going behind through a Lucas Paqueta strike. James Ward-Prowse’s set-piece expertise pegged them back and condemned them to another away defeat.
Looking ahead to #NFOBHA.
— Nottingham Forest (@NFFC) November 23, 2023
Despite that setback before the international break, Nottingham Forest’s eight points clear of 17th-placed Luton Town well away from the relegation zone. Cooper wants to build momentum and has yet another home clash to manoeuvre as Brighton visits.
Roberto De Zerbi will surely demand answers from his players ahead of a tough away clash with Nottingham Forest. Brighton could come under increasing pressure if they fail to find three points for a seventh game in a row.
Brighton will hope to correct their winless six-game run in the league as further slip-ups threaten to derail their ambitions of finishing in the top four. Their inability to win games has already opened up a seven-point gap with fourth-placed Tottenham. But if they start winning, De Zerbi could look to close that gap.
Many had expected Brighton to end their winless run when Sheffield United visited the Amex. Simon Adingra opened the scoring in the sixth minute, and things looked positive. Mahmoud Dahoud’s dismissal midway through the second half gave the Blades some hope, as Adam Webster turned the ball into his net from a Jayden Bogle cross, which extended the Seagulls’ winless run.
Team News & Tactics
Steve Cooper confirmed the big news about top scorer Taiwo Awoniyi, with the striker set to miss a few months after a groin injury that needed surgery. It has a bitter blow for Forest in their campaign and for the player, who has been sensational since the season began.
Head Coach Steve Cooper has provided an injury update on @taiwoawoniyi18.
— Nottingham Forest (@NFFC) November 23, 2023
There are other concerns in the squad, with centre-back Murillo suffering a hamstring problem in the West Ham United game. Anthony Elanga also had a scan after a knee injury scare. But the former Manchester United winger has since returned to training and is primed to play a part at the weekend.
Danilo limped off at the end of the West Ham game but has returned to full training and is primed to start against Brighton. Felipe, Gonzalo Montiel, and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all missing from the squad. The latter has returned to training but will remain out.
At the back, Willy Boly will likely deputise for Murillo and partner with Moussa Niakhate in central defence. Further back, Odysseas Vlachodimos appears to have usurped American Matt Turner’s place and will continue between the sticks. Chris Wood is expected to lead the line in Awoniyi’s absence.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Vlachodimos; Aina, Boly Niakhate, Toffolo; Sangare, Mangala, Danilo; Gibbs-White, Wood, Elanga
Brighton & Hove Albion
Roberto De Zerbi looks set to be without at least nine first-team players owing to a combination of injuries and suspensions. Mahmoud Dahoud will serve the first of his three-match ban, which could see Carlos Baleba return to the lineup and partner Billy Gilmour in central midfield.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) November 23, 2023
Danny Welbeck, Solly March, and Julio Enciso are long-term absentees, while there are considerable doubts over the fitness of at least three more, with assessments set to occur before the weekend’s clash. De Zerbi will not want to take risks ahead of a crunch period of their season and will likely rest those doubtful with problems.
Simon Adingra could return on the right wing instead of Facundo Buonanotte, as Kaoru Mitoma returns to the lineup and features on the left-hand side. De Zerbi might not take a risk with Pervis Estupinan at the back and play Igor as his left-back. He will take a similar approach with Lewis Dunk, with Jan Paul van Hecke and Adam Webster likely to feature centrally.
There are further doubts about whether De Zerbi will start with Evan Ferguson despite the youngster featuring briefly for the Republic of Ireland against New Zealand. He can play Joao Pedro as his leading striker and Ansu Fati in that attacking midfield role behind the centre-forward.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Verbruggen; Veltman, Webster, Van Hecke, Igor; Baleba, Gilmour; Adingra, Fati, Mitoma; Pedro
- Nottingham Forest are unbeaten in their last eight home games and could go unbeaten in their first five of a Premier League season for the second time since 1995.
- Nottingham Forest have seen over 2.5 goals in five of their last six home matches against Brighton in all competitions.
- Brighton are winless in their last six games and have drawn all their last three in the Premier League.
- Brighton have scored in 28 successive Premier League games.
- Brighton & Hove Albion are unbeaten in their last five games across all competitions.
Player to Watch
The Brazilian forward arrived with much hype during the summer as he became Brighton’s record purchase in their history. Despite early promise with his showings on the pitch, Pedro has somewhat fizzled out, although he has been decent in the Europa League.
Brighton made a calculated investment in the Brazilian but will want him to start shining on the pitch. Roberto De Zerbi has tried him in multiple positions in the frontline. But he has yet to prove his worth anywhere. In games like this against Nottingham Forest, Pedro should take his chances and show he can become one of the leading men on the pitch for Brighton.
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Nottingham Forest have been stubborn at home but not so much outside of this venue, so they enter the Brighton clash at the back of an unbeaten run on home soil spanning eight games, and Cooper will want continuation. Unlike Brighton, the Tricky Trees are not coming into this clash under immense pressure, which could see them hold a tight game in this stadium.
Brighton are desperate to end their six-game winless run, and Roberto De Zerbi will want answers from his players. They might continue their awful showing and manage another draw, although, on paper, the Seagulls have a superior enough squad to get three points. Many big teams have come here and struggled, and Brighton could become the next in line to find it hard away at Forest.