We look ahead to Saturday’s evening kick-off in the Premier League with our Nottingham Forest vs Everton prediction and preview. Can the embattled Toffees begin to reel in the teams above them?
Nottingham Forest vs Everton Stats: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer predicts a close contest on Saturday, with Nottingham Forest given a 38.8% chance of victory over Everton (31.9%) at the City Ground.
- Forest’s 3-2 defeat to Brighton last week ended their eight-game unbeaten run at home in the Premier League. They last lost back-to-back league games at the City Ground between August and September last year.
- Since Sean Dyche joined Everton in January, Abdoulaye Doucouré has both scored (nine) and been involved in (11) more Premier League goals than any other Toffees player.
What was supposed to be a show of defiance and unity for Everton in the face of their 10-point deduction fizzled out into a demoralising defeat last Sunday as Manchester United came away from Goodison Park with a 3-0 win. We looked at how impressive teenager Kobbie Mainoo was for Man Utd earlier this week.
With their minds now focused on the likelihood of another relegation dogfight, the Toffees must begin to claw back the points they have lost, starting with Saturday’s trip to out-of-form Nottingham Forest.
Goodison Park was whipped into a frenzy for the visit of United as Everton’s fans protested against the heaviest points deduction in Premier League history, but Alejandro Garnacho’s stunning overhead kick in the opening minutes came as an early hammer blow to the hosts, who squandered plenty of chances to level before Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial put the game beyond them after half-time.
Though Everton have now suffered six Premier League defeats by three or more goals in 2023, their most in a calendar year since 1994 (seven), familiar failings at the sharp end of the pitch cost them, with Dyche’s men failing to net from 24 shots totalling 2.47 expected goals (xG).
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Idrissa Gueye, Dwight McNeil and Abdoulaye Doucouré were all guilty of glaring misses as Everton repeatedly let United off the hook, unable to find the net from any of their 24 attempts. No team has failed to score in more different Premier League games than Everton this season (six), and they have also underperformed their xG figures by a greater margin than any other team (-6.6), netting 14 times from 20.6 xG.
Only promoted duo Sheffield United (four) and Luton Town (five) have scored fewer open-play goals than Everton’s eight, while their shot conversion rate of 7.3% is the worst in the Premier League. They have, though, scored two or more goals in five of their last seven away games across all competitions, so Dyche will hope leaving Merseyside rekindles some attacking inspiration.
Doucouré has been a player Everton have relied on in recent weeks, with the Malian scoring in five of their last six Premier League wins. Since Dyche took the reins in January, he has more Premier League goals (nine) and goal involvements (11) than any of his teammates.
Behind Doucouré, Everton will hope to have Amadou Onana back after a calf injury sidelined him last week. With Dele Alli and André Gomes out, the Belgian could partner James Garner in midfield if fit.
Nottingham Forest are potentially one of the teams Everton are looking to reel in, with Steve Cooper’s men entering Matchday 14 nine points clear of the Toffees having only won one of their last nine Premier League games (D4 L4).
With unpredictable owner Evangelos Marinakis watching on, reports have suggested Cooper’s position could be in doubt if Forest’s poor form continues, after their City Ground fortress was breached by Brighton on MD 13. Anthony Elanga’s early header and Morgan-Gibbs-White’s penalty were not enough against the Seagulls, who held firm despite Lewis Dunk’s second-half red card to end their own frustrating run of form.
That defeat saw Forest’s eight-match home unbeaten run in Premier League action (W5 D3) shudder to a halt, and they could now lose consecutive league games at the City Ground for the first time since early last season, when they lost three in a row against Tottenham, Bournemouth and Fulham in August and September.
One positive amid their poor run has been the form of Elanga, with the former Manchester United attacker netting on back-to-back Premier League appearances. He is now looking to become the first Forest player aged 21 or below to net in three successive games in the competition, and he could be joined in their lineup by Callum Hudson-Odoi if Cooper decides to shake things up.
Taiwo Awoniyi is a long-term absentee after undergoing groin surgery, so Chris Wood or Divock Origi will lead the line. Both players could pose Everton with an aerial threat, with only West Ham (seven) scoring more headed goals than Forest’s six in the Premier League this term. Only in 1994-95 (seven) have they scored more headers in a single campaign in the competition. Origi in particular enjoys playing against Everton, having scored six goals in 10 games against them during his time at Liverpool.
Nottingham Forest vs Everton Head-to-Head
Dyche came through Forest’s youth system as a player before leaving for a long spell with Chesterfield, and he has enjoyed facing his old club lately.
After losing two of his first three meetings with Forest as a manager across all competitions (D1), Dyche is unbeaten in his last seven against them (W3 D4).
Everton also possess a decent record at the City Ground, avoiding defeat on their last three league trips there (W2 D1), since suffering a 3-2 loss in September 1995. However, they have never gone four without defeat away to Forest.
The first 10 Premier League meetings between these two teams produced a winner, with Forest triumphing four times and Everton claiming the other six. However, both clashes last season ended level as the duo successfully fought to avoid relegation.
The teams drew 1-1 at Goodison Park before playing out a 2-2 draw in Nottingham in March, with Brennan Johnson’s brace cancelling out efforts from Demarai Gray and Doucouré.
Nottingham Forest’s last two league games have ended in 3-2 defeats, with West Ham beating them at the London Stadium prior to their Brighton loss.
Since the start of last season, Forest have lost six Premier League games in which they have scored two or more goals, more such defeats than they suffered in their previous five campaigns in the competition combined (five).
Everton, meanwhile, are looking to avoid suffering back-to-back defeats on Saturday, having not done so since they lost their first three games of the Premier League season against Fulham, Aston Villa and Wolves.
They should be encouraged by going on the road. While only Burnley (zero) have earned fewer than their four home points in the Premier League this term, they have three wins in their last four away league games, as many as in their previous 38.
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 Everton Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Willy-Arnaud Boly: 71.6 (out of 100)
Harry Toffolo: 69.1
Chris Wood: 69.0
Scott McKenna: 67.8
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 66.0
Vitalii Mykolenko: 68.5 (out of 100)
Idrissa Gueye: 66.0
James Tarkowski: 65.6
Amadou Onana: 64.5
James Garner: 64.1
These Opta Player Ratings also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, which you can play on Opta Analyst all season long.
Nottingham Forest vs Everton Prediction
Saturday’s game looks likely to be a close-run thing, and the Opta supercomputer’s predictions reflect that.
Of 10,000 pre-match simulations conducted by the supercomputer, Forest won 38.8%, Everton were victorious in 31.9% and 29.3% finished all square.
Everton’s defeat last week – coupled with Luton’s hard-earned victory over Crystal Palace – has seen their chances of relegation go from 34.9% to 48.3%, according to our overall season predictions.
Forest, meanwhile, are assigned a 5.9% chance of dropping to the Championship, with Burnley, Sheffield United, Luton, Everton and Bournemouth all seen as being at greater risk.