Roberto De Zerbi’s men will aim to end their winless Premier League run at the City Ground on Saturday. We look ahead with our data-powered Nottingham Forest vs Brighton prediction and preview.
Nottingham Forest vs Brighton: Quick Hits
- Brighton are predicted to overcome Nottingham Forest on Saturday, winning 41.1% of the Opta supercomputer’s 10,000 simulations.
- Brighton have scored in their last 28 Premier League games; only four teams have ever had a longer such run, and each won the league in at least one of the seasons those streaks spanned.
- Forest have picked up nine points in their opening five home Premier League games this season (two wins, three draws), five more than they had at the City Ground after five home matches last season.
Brighton take on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday looking for a first league victory since September as the Premier League returns after the international break.
By kick-off on Saturday, two months will have passed since Brighton’s last Premier League triumph – a 3-1 home win over Bournemouth – and Roberto De Zerbi will be desperate to end a run of six league games without picking up maximum points.
That could prove difficult, though, heading to a City Ground where Forest are tough to beat. They’re yet to lose there this season and looking to go the first six home games of a Premier League season unbeaten for the second time, having also managed it in the 1995-96 campaign (12 matches).
Steve Cooper’s men have lost just twice at the City Ground in the Premier League in 2023, both last season and coming against eventual top-four sides in Newcastle United and Manchester United. They rarely come out on the wrong side of results at home, even handing in-form Aston Villa a first defeat in seven in all competitions last time out on their own turf.
Forest have however been rocked by the news that star striker Taiwo Awoniyi will be out for “months” with a groin injury. He has been a key factor in Forest’s promising start, one that has them 14th in the league table heading into Matchday 13, eight points above the bottom three. Awoniyi has scored 10 goals and assisted two more across his last 14 Premier League appearances, averaging a goal or assist every 123 minutes in the competition for the club. Only Forest legend Stan Collymore (one every 119 minutes) has enjoyed a better average among players to play 10 or more games for them.
Brighton’s defence is there to be got at, too, having scored and conceded in their last 16 Premier League matches, the joint-longest run in history along with Everton between September 2012 and January 2013. In the top flight, the last side to have a longer run of scoring and conceding were Man Utd in 1959-60 (17 games in a row).
The Seagulls’ attacking prowess is hard to ignore, however, with Brighton scoring 90 goals in 44 games in all competitions in 2023. It’s their most in a single year since 1976 (92) and their best goals-per-game average in a year (2.05) since 1955 when they scored 118 in 53 games (2.23 per game).
De Zerbi has made it a point of emphasis to blood young players, and to great effect with Brighton scoring 23 Premier League goals this year that have seen at least one teenager involved (including Facundo Buonanotte’s assist against Sheffield United last time out), more than all other teams put together (15). In Premier League history, only Liverpool in 1998 (31) and Everton in 1999 (24) have had more in a calendar year.
One of the youngsters excelling is Simon Adingra, with no Brighton player involved in more goals in all competitions this season than the 21-year-old Ivorian (four goals, three assists), scoring twice and assisting twice across his last five appearances.
His emergence has proved especially important with the recent absence of Solly March, who has been part of a growing injury list for Brighton, one that also features the likes of Danny Welbeck, Julio Enciso and Pervis Estupiñán.
James Milner and Lewis Dunk are both doubts for Saturday’s lineup, as is Evan Ferguson, who went off for the Republic of Ireland with a hamstring injury. Tariq Lamptey may be available having been out lately with a muscle injury, while Mahmoud Dahoud is suspended after earning a straight red card against Sheffield United.
Aside from the Awoniyi news, Cooper’s injury concerns are relatively minor, with Callum Hudson-Odoi the only player certain to miss Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury. Felipe, Gonzalo Montiel and Murillo are all doubts but face late fitness assessments.
Nottingham Forest vs Brighton Head-to-Head
Forest have won their last two home league games against Brighton, having failed to win any of their previous six (four draws, two losses).
After winning their first two top-flight meetings with Forest in 1979-80, Brighton are now winless in their last eight against them in the top division (two draws, six defeats).
The last clash between the sides was in April, with Forest coming from a goal down to earn a vital 3-1 victory, ending an 11-game winless run and breathing life into their eventually successful fight against relegation.
Forest have won just one of their last eight Premier League outings after winning two of their first four to start the season, though they have played only five games this term at the City Ground, where they are considerably stronger.
Brighton, meanwhile, have only beaten Ajax since September 24, coming out on top in both the home and away matches against the Dutch giants in the UEFA Europa League; they’ve not won any of their other eight fixtures in this time.
Forest have lost all four of their Premier League matches this season against teams who finished 2022-23 in the top six, although all four defeats came away from home (1-2 vs Arsenal, 2-3 vs Manchester United, 0-2 vs Manchester City, 0-3 vs Liverpool).
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 Brighton Prediction
Brighton are the favourites to finally end their long winless league run when they travel to the City Ground on Saturday, winning 41.1% of the 10,000 simulations conducted ahead of MD13.
Forest are decent at home, though, and they are given a 30.4% chance of taking the three points themselves, while they extend their unbeaten City Ground streak with a draw 28.5% of the time.
Cooper’s men are expected to stave off relegation relatively comfortably, going down in just 3.9% of simulations, with 15th predicted to be their final position. Brighton, meanwhile, have seen their chances of European qualification take a huge hit with their poor recent form, and while they are still given a 14.1% chance of finishing in the top six, the Opta supercomputer is estimating they will finish eighth.