Everton vs Nottingham Forest: Preview and Prediction

Everton and Nottingham Forest will meet at Goodison Park in a key relegation six-pointer in the Premier League on Sunday.

On Sunday, Everton and Nottingham Forest will face off at Goodison Park in what may be dubbed the “points deduction derby” after both sides were hit with respective penalties for breaching the Premier League’s Profit & Sustainability Rules this season.

Despite a double points deduction, the Toffees have managed to stay barely above the relegation zone. However, their struggle for survival continues, with only a few games remaining. The Toffees were abysmal in the 6-0 hiding they suffered at Chelsea on Monday night and have taken only nine points from the previous 45 available.

A much-needed win over Nottingham Forest would take away three points from their relegation rivals along with going clear of them by four, as they both sit just clear of the dreaded bottom three with 27 points and 26 points, respectively.

Nottingham Forest have not been pulling up any trees, having only won once in their last five outings in the league. They desperately need points, with Luton still breathing down their necks. They managed a 2-2 draw with the Wolves in their most recent Premier League game but came on the wrong end of a narrow 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture against Everton.

The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics


Dominic Calvert-Lewin (hamstring) and Idrissa Gueye (calf), both of whom missed the Chelsea match, trained on Friday and are being assessed before the Sunday clash against Nottingham Forest.

A trio of Everton players came off injured last time out, and head coach Sean Dyche said that one of them, Jarrad Branthwaite, is in the same boat as Calvert-Lewin and Gueye, while another, Seamus Coleman, was “touch and go best at best”.

The other man to come off was Nathan Patterson, who has suffered a hamstring issue that required surgery, and the player has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Long-term absentees Dele Alli (groin) and Lewis Dobbin (ankle) are still out.

Jordan Pickford remains the undisputed starter in goal, with the Toffees lining up in their rigid 4-4-2 system in front of him. He will be shielded by a four-man defence comprising of Ashley Young, James Tarkowski, Michael Keane and Vitaliy Mykolenko.

Scoring has been a problem for Everton all season, but Calvert-Lewin is back to full fitness and has found the net in his previous two outings. They will hang their hopes on him continuing that scoring streak on Sunday.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pickford; Young, Tarkowski, Keane, Mykolenko; Harrison, Onana, Gomes, McNeil; Doucoure; Calvert-Lewin

Nottingham Forest

Sunday’s game may come too soon for Taiwo Awoniyi, who is closing in on a return from injury sooner rather than later. Willy Boly’s muscular injury continues to keep him sidelined, while Anthony Elanga missed the draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers with an issue picked up in the recent loss to Tottenham Hotspur and is a doubt here.

Mats Sels should take his spot in goal behind Andrew Omobamidele and Murillo as the centre-backs. The 4-2-3-1 formation will rely on the full-backs to get forward, something Neco Williams is adept at, while Ola Aina is more defensively astute.

Ryan Yates and Danilo will be up against a physical Everton midfield. Should the double-pivot gain the early foothold, they can swing the tie in their momentum. It will also give Callum Hudson-Odoi and Morgan Gibbs-White the license to push forward.

Giovanni Reyna registered an assist on his first Premier League start, and the USMNT international could keep his place in the attacking trifecta if Elanga fails the late fitness test. Chris Wood thrived under Sean Dyche while at Burnley and will now lead the line for Nottingham on Sunday, looking to add to his tally of 12 Premier League goals for the season.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sels; Williams, Omobamidele, Murillo, Aina; Danilo, Yates; Reyna, Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi; Wood

Key Stats

  • Seven of Everton’s 13 victories so far this season in all competitions have come by a single goal.
  • Only Sheffield United (6) have picked up fewer points away from home than Nottingham Forest (10) this season.
  • After going 23 games without a goal across all competitions, Dominic Calvert-Lewin now has two goals in his last two games.
  • The Toffees are looking to complete a league double over Nottingham Forest for the first time since the 1996/97 season.
  • Everton have won just one of their past 15 Premier League games, drawing six and losing eight.

Player to Watch

Morgan Gibbs-White

Embed from Getty Images

Tense meetings between relegation candidates are frequently determined by a touch of quality. And in Morgan Gibbs-White, Nottingham Forest have someone capable of producing clutch moments.

The former Wolverhampton Wanderers playmaker has registered five goals and seven assists this season, including two strikes and three assists in his past five games. Gibbs-White is the beating heart of the Tricky Trees’ attacking unit, and he could produce the goods at Goodison Park this weekend.


Everton 0-1 Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest have shown better defensive ability recently and have scored ten more times than Everton this season, showing that they boast superior quality than Everton in the final third, even though it has not translated into more wins. The visitors also have better recent form, and The Hard Tackle back them to come away with a narrow 1-0 victory from Goodison Park this Sunday.

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