Nottingham Forest vs West Ham United: Preview and Prediction

West Ham United will be desperate to return to winning ways when they take on Nottingham Forest at City Ground on Saturday.

The 2023/24 Premier League season will resume this weekend, with Gameweek 25 kicking off on Saturday. The action gets underway with the game between Brentford and Liverpool before five simultaneous fixtures greet us, one of those pitting Nottingham Forest against West Ham United at the City Ground.

The Nuno Espirito Santo effect has not worked for much long. The Tricky Trees have won only three of their 11 games under the tutelage of the Portuguese tactician. They are without a victory in four Premier League outings and can drop into the relegation zone if the two teams below them win this weekend.

On the other hand, West Ham United are seemingly in a free fall. The Hammers were sixth on the Premier League table two weeks ago but have dropped to eighth after two successive defeats. In fact, David Moyes’s men have not won a single game in seven attempts in 2024, also bowing out of the FA Cup.

The reverse fixture saw West Ham come from a goal down to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2, with Tomas Soucek scoring the match-winner. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Nottingham Forest

Nuno Espirito Santo has greeted positive updates on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against West Ham United on Saturday, the Nottingham Forest manager will be bereft of the services of two first-team players.

Willy Boly, Ola Aina, and Ibrahim Sangare should be available after featuring in the squads for the Africa Cup of Nations final, with Boly and Sangare winning the competition with the Ivory Coast. But Gonzalo Montiel and Chris Wood remain on the sidelines due to their respective hamstring injuries.

Matz Sels has taken no time to become the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper and will take his spot between the sticks, with Nottingham Forest lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against West Ham United. The backline should consist of Aina, Moussa Niakhate, Murillo, and Nuno Tavares.

As for the midfield unit, the returning Sangare should pair up with Danilo in the double pivot. Morgan Gibbs-White will reprise the no. 10 role, with Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi being the two wide attackers. Finally, Taiwo Awoniyi will lead the line for the home side.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sels; Aina, Niakhate, Murillo, Tavares; Sangare, Danilo; Elanga, Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi; Awoniyi

West Ham United

Like his counterpart in the Nottingham Forest dugout, David Moyes does not have many issues to deal with ahead of the trip to the City Ground. The West Ham United manager might have a fully-fit squad on Saturday.

Michail Antonio and Lucas Paqueta are close to regaining full fitness, although Saturday’s game might have come too soon for them to feature from the get-go. But the duo might make it to the matchday squad this weekend.

West Ham will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Nottingham Forest, with Alphonse Areola taking his spot between the sticks. Kostas Mavropanos and Kurt Zouma should pair up at the heart of the defence, with Aaron Cresswell and Vladimir Coufal being the two full-backs.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Edson Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips in the double pivot. James Ward-Prowse will be the most advanced midfielder, with his ghosting runs and set-piece ability being his strengths. Finally, Jarrod Bowen, Maxwel Cornet, and Mohammed Kudus should combine in a fluid attacking trifecta.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Areola; Coufal, Mavropanos, Zouma, Cresswell; Phillips, Alvarez; Kudus, Ward-Prowse, Cornet; Bowen

Key Stats

  • Nottingham Forest beat West Ham United at the City Ground 1-0 last season. But they most recently won successive home league games against West Ham in December 1983.
  • West Ham United can complete a league double over Nottingham Forest for the first time since the 2011/12 season and their first in the top flight since 1968/69.
  • Nottingham Forest have lost nine of their last 13 Premier League games (W2 D2), including three of the four outings in 2024 (D1). They have the joint-most defeats in the top flight since the start of November (9, level with Brentford and Burnley).
  • West Ham United have lost their last two Premier League games, conceding nine goals in the process, as many as they had done in the previous eight.
  • Nottingham Forest have conceded a goal in their most recent 13 Premier League games (29 in total).

Player to Watch

Mohammed Kudus

Embed from Getty Images

With the pressure ramping up on David Moyes, he needs his attackers to deliver the goods. So, Mohammed Kudus’s return from the Africa Cup of Nations could not have come at a better time. While he could not impose himself this weekend, the game against Nottingham Forest gives him a good opportunity to return to his best.

The Ghanaian international has taken no time to settle down at West Ham and needs to play at his best to earn the East London club a spot in Europe next season. All that starts against a defensively vulnerable Nottingham Forest this weekend.


Nottingham Forest 1-2 West Ham United

Two teams who have struggled to rack up wins in 2024 will lock horns on Saturday. Three points will be of utmost importance this weekend, especially for West Ham, with the pressure piling up on David Moyes amid the club’s search for a potential replacement.

But with Nottingham Forest’s defensive vulnerabilities being their undoing throughout the season, the visitors can hope to end their recent goal drought. Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen should deliver the goods, while Callum Hudson-Odoi will continue his fine form. But the Hammers should have the quality to eke out a narrow 2-1 win this weekend.

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