We look ahead to this Premier League relegation clash between two of the bottom three sides in the table with our Nottingham Forest vs Southampton prediction and stats preview.

Nottingham Forest vs Southampton: Quick Stats

  • Nottingham Forest rated as the slight favourites (35.8%) for this game by the Opta supercomputer.
  • Yet the probability of all three results is within 6% of each other.
  • Both sides start this game in the relegation zone.

Match Preview 

The final game of this Premier League matchweek and probably the most important of them all. Struggling Nottingham Forest host even-more struggling Southampton at the City Ground on Monday night in a relegation six-pointer.

For both sides, it’s do or die at this point. Nottingham Forest currently occupy 18th spot in the table and are level with Leeds (17th) and Leicester City (16th) on points. But Forest’s goal difference is so poor (-32, the joint-worst in the league) that Leeds and Leicester have basically got an extra point on them.

And how different Forest’s outlook could have been coming into this game. Steve Cooper’s side were just 10 minutes away from a precious three points away at Brentford last time out, before two late goals from Ivan Toney and Joshua Dasilva turned a glorious day out in west London into a real missed opportunity.

Southampton’s last Premier League match also saw them take the lead before dropping all three points. In fairness, the Saints were away at top-four hunting Newcastle United. Stuart Armstong’s opener was cancelled out by Callum Wilson before Theo Walcott turned into his own net. Wilson scored a second to put the game to bed and extended Southampton’s winless streak to nine (W0 D3 L6).

Ruben Selles and co. are rock bottom on 24 points, six points adrift of safety with four matches to play. They must earn at least six points across their final four games to have any chance of staying up.

The situation is pretty terminal on the south coast. The Opta supercomputer currently has Southampton’s chances of survival at a minuscule 1.7%, while it is far more bullish on Nottingham Forest’s chances of avoiding the drop (53.4%).

Premier League Relegation Chances on 2 May

Nottingham Forest will take heart from the fact this game is on home soil. Cooper’s men have been really solid at the City Ground this season, winning six of their seven Premier League matches at home and picking up 24 of their 30 points on home turf. Their home form is good enough for 12th best in the table, while their away form has them rock bottom (P17 W1 D3 L13).

Last Meeting 

Southampton 0-1 Nottingham Forest: 4 January 2023 (Premier League)

Southampton 0-1 Nottingham Forest - January Premier League

Nottingham Forest’s only away victory this entire season came in the reverse fixture against Southampton in January.

Che Adams missed an excellent chance to open the scoring in the first half but skewed a volley wide, before Brennan Johnson hit the bar from a gilt-edged chance shortly after.

Johnson turned provider after 27 minutes, galloping onto a through ball before squaring across goal for Taiwo Awoniyi to net the only goal of the game.

Southampton’s lack of cutting edge was on fully display at St. Mary’s. They didn’t land a single shot on target during this game and it’s something they’ve failed to do in two games this season – the other being against Manchester City. Playing against a newly-promoted side, that’s just not good enough.

Only twice have Forest done the double over Saints as a top-flight side, doing so in 1969-70 and 1995-96.

Recent Form 

Despite their solid home form, Forest have lost five of their last six Premier League matches and have just one win (3-1 vs. Brighton) in their last 13.

Having won two of their first three Premier League games under Ruben Selles, Southampton are now winless in their last nine (D3 L6). They last went longer without a win between September and December 2018 (12 games), with 10 of those coming under Mark Hughes.

Key Players 

Nottingham Forest: Morgan Gibbs-White

Morgan Gibbs-White leads Nottingham Forest in almost every single creative metric and it’s not even close.

He leads his side for chances created (60), big chances created (8), expected assists (5.9) and assists (6). Everything Forest do going forward flows through Gibbs-White and it’s no secret why he’s appeared in every single one of their league games this season. Only 10 players have created more chances this season than him, which is even more impressive considering he’s playing for a side in the relegation zone.

Southampton: James Ward-Prowse

Southampton have relied on their captain, talisman and saviour James Ward-Prowse for so long. And they’re going to need him to pull off something magical again. A moment of genius from a free-kick, or a moment of quality from a corner.

Ward-Prowse has a club-high seven Premier League goals this season and he’s created a team-high 66 chances. That’s more than the next three best players (Che Adams, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Stuart Armstrong) combined.

He also leads the way for the Saints in terms of involvement in their attacking sequences – involved frequently in taking shots, creating chances or building up play. Even looking at these on a per 90 basis has Ward-Prowse (3.5) second only to Adams (3.8). The Englishman needs to carry them once more.

Southampton attacking sequences - Premier League

Nottingham Forest vs Southampton Prediction

The Opta supercomputer has this one down as a painfully close encounter.  Nottingham Forest (35.8%) are the slight favourites to pick up what could be a massive win, but Southampton (34.2%) are so close behind. The draw comes in at 30.0%.

This is the computer equivalent of throwing up your hands and saying, “anything could happen”.  It can and it probably will.

This season is Southampton’s 11th straight in the top-flight. If they are to have any hope of seeing number 12, they need to win here at all costs.

Nottingham Forest vs Southampton Prediction

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