The big games in the battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League continue to come thick and fast and attention will be drawn to the banks of the Trent on Sunday when Nottingham Forest host Everton.
The Toffees’ position is in the greatest peril and there would have been much Goodison soul-searching following their 4-0 drubbing at leaders Arsenal on Tuesday.
While they have gained valuable home wins over the Gunners and Leeds since former boss Sean Dyche replaced Frank Lampard, their away form remains poor.
Having won the Championship playoffs last season, Forest will be pleased to have established a bit of daylight between themselves and the bottom three but they will not be able to rest easy.
Steve Cooper’s team have to recover from the 4-0 loss they suffered at West Ham last week, but they are unbeaten in their last eight matches at the City Ground.
|What||Nottingham Forest v Everton|
|Where||City Ground, Nottingham|
|When||14:00 Sunday 5th March 2023|
|How to watch||Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event|
|Odds||Nottingham Forest 17/10, Draw 2/1, Everton 15/8|
It was always likely that Nottingham Forest’s home form would have a huge bearing on whether they remained in the top-flight and the Tricky Trees supporters have done their bit to extend their stay past a solitary season.
Nobody has had an easy game there this season and they have not been beaten on their own patch since a 3-2 loss to Fulham on 16th September.
Since then they have drawn with both Chelsea and Manchester City, and beaten Liverpool. The big issue, though, is that they have failed to score more than once in six of those eight unbeaten matches and Everton are the only team to have scored fewer than Forest’s tally of 18 goals this term.
It is no surprise to see over 2.5 goals priced at 6/4 with under just 8/15. There were fewer than three goals in each of Forest’s seven games before they were put to the sword by the Hammers.
There is little to choose between the teams in the 90-minute market and it could be a good option to select Forest in the draw-no-bet market.
The security of having the stalemate on your side could be worth having as four of those eight unbeaten Forest home games finished level and a draw is always more likely when a low-scoring match is anticipated. Stake money is returned if the game is drawn and Forest are 4/5 in that market.
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Everton boss Dyche returns to the club where he started his playing career knowing he has to get the Toffees firing on the road if they are not to fall further into trouble.
The Goodison outfit are back where the former Burnley gaffer found them - in the bottom three - and they failed to create anything of note in their midweek defeat to Arsenal.
The optimism after their 1-0 win over the Gunners in his first game has evaporated and they have scored just two goals in Dyche’s five matches at the helm and just once in their last eight away league games.
That travelling statistic is particularly damaging and they are 13/8 to draw another blank from this trip. The Toffees have conceded at least twice in four of their last five matches and Forest are 2/1 to score more than 1.5 goals.
They have not gained an away win since a 2-1 success at Southampton on 1st October and they are 15/8 to put that right on Sunday.
It is no surprise with two low-scoring teams that there are few standout performers in the final third, but it could be worth keeping an eye out for Forest’s Morgan Gibbs-White.
It’s 10 games since the former Wolves man found the net but it has not been for the want of trying as he has had at least two shots in six of his last seven outings. He is 11/8 to have more than two attempts against the Toffees.
Those looking for a bookings bet may have their head turned by Everton midfielder Amadou Onana. The Belgian has picked up seven yellow cards this season, four of which have come in his last nine appearances.
Having committed 34 fouls this season, he is likely to be in the heart of the action in what could prove a scrappy game. He could be a popular cards option at 2/1.