Nottingham Forest vs Everton Prediction | English Premier League Picks

Nottingham Forest vs Everton Odds

Everton make the trip over the City Ground for a crucial match in their fight against relegation.

Nottingham Forest were beaten by Brighton at home last time out, dropping them to 15th place in the table. The Trees have historically been much better at the City Ground than away from it, but they will be missing some key personnel for this match.

Everton have been handed a 10-point deduction for a breach of Financial Fair Play rules by the English FA, which has now put them in the relegation zone, which is where they’ve been the last two seasons. The had maybe the most unlucky 3-0 loss in the history of the Premier League last week because they actually won the xG battle against Man United. This is a fantastic opportunity on the road to grab three points against a fellow club in the bottom half of the table.

Let’ve into my English Premier League picks and my Nottingham Forest vs Everton prediction.

Nottingham Forest’s low block was broken down versus Brighton last week, as they conceded two goals and a penalty. They are playing the most passive low block in the Premier League and they have been successful at times, but they have struggled do it for a full 90 minutes. In recent matches against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Brighton they have conceded a combined 9.5 xGG. They also failed to create over 1 xG in all of those matches except for the last one against Brighton, where they also had a penalty. 

Plus, Taiwo Awoniyi is out for his match, which is massive for their attack. He’s been a 0.49 xG per 90 minute striker this season and the next-closest player who has played over eight matches is Morgan Gibbs-White, who has a 0.21 xG per 90-minute scoring rate. That means it will likely be Chris Wood up for Nottingham Forest. He has been good in a very small sample size this season, but he’s barely played over the past three seasons. 

The other problem for Nottingham Forest is they will be without Ibrahim Sangaré, who came over from PSV on the final day of the summer transfer window and right now is their best ball-stopping midfielder. Sangaré is averaging 4.92 tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes, which is one of the best marks in the Premier League.

The other problem in this matchup is even though Nottingham Forest defends in a very passive low block, they are not great defensively in the areas Everton is best: Defending crosses and set pieces. The Trees are 11th in crosses allowed into their penalty area and have allowed the most goals off of set pieces this season.

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The underlying performances suggest that Everton are much closer to being a top half of the table team as opposed to a team fighting for relegation, but that is what a 10-point deduction does to you.

The Toffees have a +2.3 xG differential and the tactical plan that Sean Dyche has them set up in is really working. Everton have two different tactical plans. There is the first one where they will relentlessly press you man to man to try and force high turnovers, which has worked to great success. The second is Dyche going back to his old ways at Burnley and sitting in a mid block trying to limit central progression from the opponent and force the ball out wide. Overall for the season, Everton have done a great job of limiting high quality chances because they have conceded the fourth-fewest non-penalty expected goals and the second-fewest big scoring chances.

Everton have drastically underperformed their underlying numbers offensively, as they’ve only scored 14 goals off of 20.3 xG, so they are due for positive regression. There is a pretty simple reason why Everton have improved so much offensively this season: Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been healthy. The last two seasons Calvert-Lewin has failed to reach the 15 90s played mark, which has hampered Everton offensively for two reasons. First, Calvert-Lewin is perfect for the “route one” style of football that they want to play because he’s an incredibly dangerous threat, he can make runs off the opponents back line and is great at holding the ball up. Secondly, he’s an incredibly intelligent attacker with his movements. Similar to Alvaro Morata of Atletico Madrid, Calvert-Lewin possess the ability to drag defenders with him around the box, which has created a lot of space for Abdoulaye Doucouré to flourish as a box invading attacking midfielder.

Everton are also an elite team at getting the ball into wide areas to eventually create a chance via a cross. The Toffees have completed the third-most crosses into the penalty area, which has translated to them creating the sixth most big scoring chances.

Nottingham Forest vs Everton


nottingham forest-everton-prediction

Quite frankly, I think this is a bad matchup for Nottingham Forest. Everton are a far better version of the “route one” football that Nottingham Forest plays. So, this match is going to very transitional with both teams looking to get the ball wide to send in crosses. Everton are better in that area than Nottingham Forest and also have the advantage on set pieces.

Nottingham Forest being without Taiwo Awoniyi and Ibrahim Sangaré are massive losses because they are two of their three most important players. The drop off with those two is pretty big and will have a drastic effect in this match.

Outside of the match against Manchester United, Everton have been poor against good competition, but in seven matches against teams in the bottom half of the table, Everton have a +5.8 xG differential and have only lost the xG battle one time.

So, I think Everton should be more of a sizable favorite here on the road. I like the value on them draw no bet at -113.

Pick: Everton – Draw No Bet (-113 via bet365)

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