Saturday’s late kick-off sees Roy Hodgson reach 400 games as a Premier League manager. Will he celebrate with a win? We look ahead to the match with our Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest prediction and preview.
Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest: The Quick Hits
- The Opta Supercomputer makes Crystal Palace favourites for Saturday’s late Premier League kick-off, with a 42.1% chance of victory at Selhurst Park.
- This match will be Roy Hodgson’s 400th as a Premier League manager. Of the previous seven coaches to reach that milestone, only Sam Allardyce lost his 400th game.
- Palace have never beaten Nottingham Forest in the Premier League in six attempts, the most games they have played against any team in the competition without winning.
Saturday is a big day for Roy Hodgson, who takes charge of his 400th game as a Premier League manager when Crystal Palace welcome Nottingham Forest to Selhurst Park. His Eagles side will hope to celebrate the occasion with three points, with the previous bosses to reach that milestone tending to fare well.
Of the seven existing managers to surpass 400 Premier League games, only Sam Allardyce was beaten on his big day, with Arsène Wenger, Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Harry Redknapp, Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes all avoiding defeat as they reached the landmark.
Hodgson enjoyed a memorable triumph last week as Joachim Andersen’s volley sealed a 1-0 win at Manchester United. That made Hodgson the first manager to avoid defeat on five successive Premier League trips to Old Trafford (three wins, two draws), while also ensuring Palace ended Matchday 7 in the top half of the table, on 11 points.
Andersen has two goals in seven Premier League outings this season, which is as many as he had managed in his previous 97. He is one of just three players to score a Premier League goal for Palace this term, alongside Odsonne Édouard (four) and Eberechi Eze (one). No top-flight team has had fewer goalscorers.
Though Crystal Palace have not been prolific, Hodgson has built a solid defensive unit around Andersen and Marc Guéhi. Twelve of the Premier League’s 20 teams have allowed opponents more than Palace’s 9.76 expected goals (xG) against, while only Manchester City (three) have conceded fewer than their four goals shipped from open play.
Palace suffered a huge blow this week, however, with Eze set for a six-week absence after suffering a hamstring injury. Having created twice as many Premier League chances (18) as any of his teammates this season (Jeffrey Schlupp has nine), Eze joins fellow playmaker Michael Olise in the treatment room. Recent arrival Matheus França is also sidelined, as is goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
With their fitness concerns mounting, Palace will attempt to achieve something they have never done before on Saturday; beat Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.
Palace have failed to win any of their six Premier League games against Forest (three draws, three losses) – it is the most times they have faced a single club in the competition without tasting victory.
Steve Cooper’s visitors are three points behind Palace in the league table after drawing 1-1 with Brentford last Sunday. Moussa Niakhaté’s dismissal put Forest on the back foot, and their woes deepened when Christian Nørgaard headed Brentford in front. However, Nicolás Domínguez’s first Premier League goal – a looping header from Harry Toffolo’s cross – ensured the spoils were shared.
Forest had earlier seen a potential opener correctly disallowed for offside when Taiwo Awoniyi prodded home. The Nigerian endured a quiet outing, failing to score or assist for a second Premier League game in succession, but he still has 11 goal involvements in his last 11 league appearances (nine goals, two assists).
Behind Awoniyi, Cooper could restore Morgan Gibbs-White to his lineup after he started on the bench against Brentford. Since Forest’s Premier League return, Gibbs-White leads the club’s charts for chances created (77) and assists (nine).
Though Niakhaté is suspended, Nuno Tavares and Ola Aina could return after battling minor muscle injuries, while Murillo and Willy Boly should continue their centre-back partnership after impressing last week.
Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest Head-to-Head
As well as never losing to Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Forest have only suffered one defeat in their last 11 league games against Palace at any level (six wins, four defeats).
Palace last beat Forest in a 2011 Championship fixture, winning 1-0 at the City Ground. At home, the Eagles haven’t recorded a victory or a clean sheet in their last six games against Forest (three draws, three defeats) since winning 1-0 in December 2003.
The teams played out a 1-1 draw in this exact fixture on the final day of last season, with Will Hughes cancelling out Awoniyi’s opener.
One of Forest’s targets for 2023-24 is to improve their awful record on the road. Cooper’s men beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last month, but they have lost their other three away games this term – against Arsenal, Manchester United and Man City. They took the lead against Man Utd, though, and almost came back at Arsenal to nick a draw.
Those results mean Forest have now won just one of their last 14 away league games (three draws, 10 defeats).
However, they could win back-to-back top-flight visits to London on Saturday, something they haven’t done since beating West Ham and Tottenham back in 1997.
Palace, meanwhile, could win successive Premier League matches for the first time since April, when they won three in a row following Hodgson’s return to the dugout. They are also targeting three consecutive Premier League clean sheets, which they last achieved in April 2022.
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.
Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest Prediction
The Opta Supercomputer is siding with the hosts, giving Crystal Palace a 42.1% chance of victory over Forest.
Nottingham Forest are assigned a 28.7% chance of earning just their third away win back in the top flight. The probability of a draw stands at 29.2%.
Looking further ahead, both teams are expected to enjoy a year of mid-table security. Across 10,000 season simulations, Forest’s most likely final position was 15th as they finished there in 18.6% of scenarios. Palace are backed to push for the top half, with 10th their most frequent finish (17.7%).