A Friday night clash at the City Ground kicks off Matchday 17 in the Premier League. We look ahead to the game with our Nottingham Forest vs Tottenham prediction and preview.
Nottingham Forest vs Tottenham Stats: The Quick Hits
- Tottenham are predicted to win Friday’s trip to Nottingham Forest, emerging victorious in 50.2% of the Opta supercomputer’s match simulations before kick-off.
- Forest have lost their last two Premier League home games, as many as they had in their previous 20 at the City Ground.
- With Sunday’s brace against Newcastle, Richarlison doubled his Premier League goal tally for Spurs. He is looking to score in back-to-back league games for the first time since doing so for Everton in May 2022.
For much of last week, Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper appeared destined to become the second managerial casualty of the Premier League season, with trigger-happy owner Evangelos Marinakis getting twitchy. While Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Wolves granted Cooper a stay of execution, he needs his players to step up for Friday’s clash with Tottenham to avoid any more unwanted pressure.
Forest’s reaction to their 5-0 humbling at Fulham was always likely to be a battling one, and so it proved as Cooper’s men dug in for a draw at Molineux. It could have been more, had Matheus Cunha not cancelled out Harry Toffolo’s header with a well-worked equaliser, but Forest have now only won one of their last 12 Premier League games (five draws, six defeats), beating Aston Villa in November.
Cooper made seven changes to his lineup as Forest looked to sit deep and hit Wolves on the break, and a lack of familiarity has hardly helped his team find their bearings this season. Only Brighton – who are juggling domestic and European commitments – have made more changes to their Premier League lineups (67) than Forest’s 44 this term, while only injury-hit Newcastle United (30) have used more players than their 28.
One player who has generally been a fixture is Morgan Gibbs-White. Since Forest’s return to the Premier League last August, his figures of 94 chances created and 10 assists in the competition are both more than three times as many as any other player has managed for Forest. Second for both metrics is Brennan Johnson (29 chances created, three assists), who will face his old club for the first time on Friday after joining Spurs on transfer deadline day.
Gibbs-White partnered Anthony Elanga in attack on Saturday, with Cooper still seeking the right formula after losing striker Taiwo Awoniyi to injury. Chris Wood has three Premier League goals this term, all of them at the City Ground (one versus Sheffield United, two against Luton Town), and he – alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi and Divock Origi – could be an option if Cooper makes changes.
Spurs also needed a response on Matchday 16 as they approached their meeting with Newcastle winless in five games. Theirs was far more resounding as Ange Postecoglou’s men swept their fellow top-four hopefuls aside in north London, cruising to a 4-1 triumph. With their rivals not in action until Saturday at the earliest, they can pull level with fourth-placed Manchester City with a win on Friday night.
Captain Son Heung-min was the star of the show as he recorded early assists for Destiny Udogie and Richarlison before winning and converting a penalty in the second half. He has 14 goal involvements (10 goals, four assists) in his last 13 Premier League games, and he has also been a good traveller so far this campaign, with only Man City’s Erling Haaland (eight) bettering his seven away goals.
Spurs have been reliant on Son for goals at times, so the sight of Richarlison scoring a brace against Newcastle was certainly a welcome one, as he matched his goal tally across his first 39 Premier League outings for Spurs. He is now looking to score in successive league games for the first time since May 2022, when he did so in his final two outings for Everton.
With the Brazilian striker likely to join Son and Johnson in Spurs’ front three again on Friday, Dejan Kulusevski should be freed up to play a creative midfield role. He has created more chances from open play (36) than any other player in the Premier League this season, while Son is fourth on that list with 30.
Spurs are, of course, still without several key players, including James Maddison, Micky van de Ven and Rodrigo Bentancur, while Postecoglou revealed on Thursday that Giovani Lo Celso will miss Friday’s game after suffering a knock in training.
Nottingham Forest vs Tottenham Head-to-Head
After winning four successive Premier League games against Tottenham between 1995 and 1997, Forest have now lost their last four against them in the competition.
Indeed, Spurs did the double over Forest last season, with a Harry Kane brace firing Antonio Conte’s team to a 2-0 win in this exact fixture last August. Kane was at the double again when the teams last met at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in March, with Son and Joe Worrall joining him on the scoresheet in a 3-1 home win.
Tottenham have now won their last two away league games against Forest, giving them the chance to win three in a row for the first time since enjoying a run of four victories at the City Ground between 1989 and 1991.
Forest did eliminate Spurs from the EFL Cup on this ground last season, though, with goals from since-departed duo Renan Lodi and Jesse Lingard guiding them to a 2-0 win in the third round.
Forest’s home form was crucial to their Premier League survival last season as they only collected eight of their 38 points on the road, but the City Ground has not been a fortress lately.
Indeed, Cooper’s men have lost their last two home matches against Brighton (3-2) and Everton (1-0), having only lost two of their previous 20 in the Premier League (W9 D9). They last lost three in a row on their own turf between August and September last year, a run that included a defeat to Spurs.
Neutrals should certainly expect goalmouth action, with Spurs having scored in each of their last 28 Premier League games, their longest scoring streak in league football since a run of 32 between February and November 1962.
While Tottenham have scored first in each of their last 10 Premier League games, their longest ever such run, Forest should not be deterred if they do fall behind.
Postecoglou’s men have opened the scoring in a competition-high 13 Premier League games this campaign, though they have failed to win six of those (W7 D2 L4). No team has dropped more points from winning positions than their 16 in 2023-24, a tally only matched by Burnley.
Nottingham Forest vs Tottenham 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: 69.9 (out of 100)
Harry Toffolo: 66.2
Taiwo Awoniyi: 64.5
Moussa Niakhaté: 63.4
Orel Mangala: 61.6
Son Heung-Min: 85.3 (out of 100)
James Maddison: 76.9
Dejan Kulusevski: 73.5
Pape Matar Sarr: 71.3
Micky van de Ven: 70.2
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.
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 Friday night’s kick-off, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Nottingham Forest vs Tottenham Prediction
With Tottenham rediscovering their groove last week, the Opta supercomputer is backing them to make it successive wins on Friday, ramping up the pressure on Forest boss Cooper.
Of 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off, Spurs won 50.2%, with Forest triumphing in 23.2% and 26.6% finishing level.
It might not be accurate to say Tottenham’s win over Newcastle breathed fresh life into their bid for a top-four finish, which they only achieve in 17.3% of our season simulations.
However, fifth in the end of season standings could be enough for Champions League qualification depending on other English clubs’ European performances, and Spurs now finish there in a league-high 33.6% of scenarios.
Forest, meanwhile, are the side the promoted trio will be looking to reel in at the bottom of the table. They are relegated in 21.7% of the supercomputer’s simulations, with only Sheffield United (91.8%), Burnley (85.6%) and Luton Town (78.5%) going down more often.