Nottingham Forest vs Bournemouth Prediction: Goals unlikely to flow by the Trent

 | December 22 | 

3 mins read

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Steve Cooper was sacked by Nottingham Forest earlier in the week and the Reds’ owners wasted no time in sourcing an appointment, with former Wolves and Spurs manager Nuno Espirito Santo already announced and set to be in the City Ground’s dugout for Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth.

The Portuguese manager would have hoped for an easier opening game than the in-form Cherries, who are unbeaten in five games and beat Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford in their last match, but he could at least frustrate the visitors somewhat.

Forest are in 17th place, just five points behind 14th-placed Bournemouth, although the Reds have played a game more, and it could be a tetchy affair at the City Ground.

Nottingham Forest vs Bournemouth Prediction

  • Under 2.5 goals @ 10/11
  • #PickYourPunt - Murillo to be booked and over 4.5 Bournemouth corners @ 9/2

Team news

New Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo will have to do without star striker Taiwo Awoniyi for his first match as he continues to recover from a long-term injury, while Felipe, Serge Aurier and Ibrahim Sangare are all doubts.

Tyler Adams, Lloyd Kelly and Max Aarons are all confirmed absentees for Bournemouth while the game looks to have come too soon for Ryan Fredericks, Emiliano Marcondes, Hamed Traore and Darren Randolph, although that quartet are nearing a return.

Match Odds

This looks a tough game to call and the market agrees, with Forest priced at 7/4, Bournemouth 6/4 and the draw at 12/5.

Both teams to score is available at 4/6 and the possibility of one of the sides not finding the net is 11/10, with over 2.5 goals 4/5 and the tipped under 2.5 chalked up at 10/11.

Under 2.5 goals @ 10/11

More fondly remembered in Wolverhampton than North London, Nuno Espirito Santo built a reputation as a solid defensive coach who was capable of grinding out results, especially against big sides – as shown by notching three wins against Manchester City in his last five meetings with the champions.

His defensive style will be vital if Forest are to pull themselves clear of the relegation zone and he will look to implement it immediately against the in-form Cherries, who will be hoping to continue their fine run.

The Tricky Trees have struggled in front of goal this term, due in large part to the extended absence of Awoniyi, and are the league’s joint-third lowest scorers having netted just 17 times in as many games this season.

They have failed to score in three of their last four matches and are unlikely to net many against Bournemouth, who are unbeaten in five and have recently recorded clean sheets against top-seven sides Newcastle and Manchester United.

Santo’s defensive style, which led to seven of his last 12 matches at Wolves staying under the 2.5 goals total, is unlikely to improve their output in the attacking third but could frustrate Bournemouth at the other end and a repeat of the 1-1 the last time these sides met looks possible, with under 2.5 goals very likely.


#PickYourPunt - Murillo to be booked and over 4.5 Bournemouth corners @ 9/2

Bournemouth will likely dominate proceedings at the City Ground as Santo tends to sacrifice possession more often than not, which could lead to some issues for Forest’s back three.

Murillo was booked in his last match against Spurs and committed three fouls when facing Brighton, who’s free-flowing style is similar to the Cherries’ at times, and the Colombian could pick up another yellow card on Saturday.

Bournemouth have had at least six corners in four of their last five matches, with their count of four in the 3-0 win in Manchester the only exception, and they should get plenty of set-pieces against Forest’s deep and inviting defence.


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