After three defeats on the spin for Brentford, Thomas Frank’s side will be looking to bounce back in Sunday’s only Premier League game. Get all you need to know with our Nottingham Forest vs Brentford preview.
Nottingham Forest vs Brentford: Quick Hits
- It’s 12th against 13th in the standings. Forest have a fine home record, but Opta’s supercomputer makes Brentford the favourites ahead of kick-off, with a 41.6% chance of victory.
- Brentford have lost their last three games, going down to Newcastle United and Everton at home in the league before losing 1-0 to Arsenal in the EFL Cup.
- Forest have lost just two of their last 17 home Premier League matches (W8 D7), with defeats against Newcastle United in March and Manchester United in April.
What had been a steady start to the campaign for Brentford, especially considering the absence of suspended striker Ivan Toney, might just turn sour if they do not pick up a positive result at the City Ground.
The Bees, who lost to Newcastle in their last away game, were second best against Everton at the Brentford Community Stadium last week, and they succumbed to a Reiss Nelson goal against Arsenal on Wednesday.
Brentford were arguably the better side against Arsenal. They mustered 18 shots to Arsenal’s 10, and had more attempts on target (four to three), while accumulating a higher xG (1.8 to 1.2).
Forest go into this match a place above Brentford in the league table, with Steve Cooper’s team – who lost to Manchester City last time out – having taken seven points from their opening six top-flight fixtures.
Cooper’s counter-attacking style has often worked a treat at home, and it seems unlikely that Forest will change tactic too much for this game.
Forest have completed the third-fewest passes in the Premier League this season (1,526), and the fewest of any side that is not newly promoted to the division. With the success Everton had playing mainly on the break, allowing Brentford to have the ball, you would imagine that Cooper will use Sean Dyche’s approach as a template for success.
Expect the visitors to go direct when the chance presents itself, too, though. Since they joined the Premier League in 2021-22, Brentford have attempted the most long passes in the Premier League (4,993), while their goalkeeper, Mark Flekken, has made the joint-most successful long passes in the division so far this season (51).
With Kevin Schade set for a spell on the sidelines due to an adductor injury, the onus is certainly on Yoane Wissa – who had seven shots in the loss to Arsenal – and Bryan Mbeumo to carry Brentford’s attack – the duo have accounted for six of the Bees’ nine league goals so far this term.
That being said, midfielder Mathias Jensen has scored two goals in his last three Premier League appearances, after not scoring in his 13 league games before that. All seven of his Premier League goals have been scored in home games, with only Clive Wilson (nine), Ronny Johnsen (eight), and Jeff Kenna (eight) scoring more goals without ever netting away from home in the competition’s history.
Taiwo Awoniyi is Forest’s big threat up front. He has been directly involved in nine goals in his 10 home Premier League starts for Forest (seven goals, two assists), either scoring or assisting in eight of those matches, including the last five in a row (four goals, three assists).
Behind him, Callum Hudson-Odoi – fresh from scoring a superb goal on his debut against Burnley in Forest’s last home game – is sure to cause some issues for Brentford’s defence, while Morgan Gibbs-White is a fine playmaker.
The former Wolves midfielder has been unlucky in front of goal, with only Chelsea’s Enzo Fernández (13) having had more shots without scoring in the Premier League this season than Gibbs-White (12), who found the net in the corresponding fixture last term, netting the opener in a 2-2 draw.
Nottingham Forest vs Brentford Head-to-Head
Thomas Frank should be buoyed by Brentford’s recent record against Forest, who are winless in their last four league games against the Bees (D2 L2), having won three in a row against them before this.
Brentford have won five of their last eight away league games against Forest (D1 L2), drawing 2-2 in their only previous top-flight visit to the City Ground last season.
The previous Premier League fixture between the sides saw Brentford emerge victorious 2-1 back in April, with the Bees coming from behind to win 2-1 thanks to late goals from Toney and Josh Dasilva.
These sides have met 37 times, and the head-to-head record is pretty even: Brentford have won 14 times, with Forest winning on 13 occasions and the other 10 fixtures having been drawn.
One thing you should be able to expect is goals. There has not been a 0-0 draw in this fixture since way back in February 1935. Let’s hope that the commentator’s curse does not apply here!
Brentford are winless in four Premier League matches (D2 L2), having won four of their previous five games before this run (D1). They last suffered three league defeats in a row in April, when they lost to Manchester United, Newcastle and Wolves.
Frank’s team have not had the harshest of starts, either. Indeed, they have only played two sides – Fulham, who they beat 3-0 in August, and Tottenham – who finished in the top half of the table last season.
Forest have lost just two of their last 17 home Premier League matches (W8 D7).
Cooper’s team have already played four of the big boys, losing away to Arsenal, Man Utd and Man City, but beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Their other win this term came against newly promoted Sheffield United, while they also drew with Burnley.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Nottingham Forest vs Brentford Prediction
According to Opta’s model, Forest only have a 29.6% chance of claiming the three points, despite their strong home form.
Brentford are given a 41.6% likelihood of snapping their winless streak, with the draw at 28.8%.