Jürgen Klopp’s bid for a farewell quadruple gathered pace in the cup competitions this week; now his attention turns back to the Premier League. We look ahead to Saturday’s game with our Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool prediction and preview.

Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool: The Quick Hits

  • Liverpool are heavy favourites to beat Nottingham Forest on Saturday, triumphing in 64% of 10,000 match simulations conducted by the Opta supercomputer.
  • Liverpool are winless in six previous Premier League visits to the City Ground. It’s the most away games they have played against any team in the competition without winning.
  • Forest boss Nuno Espírito Santo has lost all six of his Premier League meetings with Liverpool. The only managers with a worse 100% loss rate against a specific team are Gary Megson and Chris Hughton vs Liverpool, Marco Silva vs Manchester City, and Paul Jewell vs Manchester United.

Match Preview

‘You can’t win anything with kids’, the old saying goes. It seems nobody told Jürgen Klopp.

The German’s bid to end his Liverpool reign with four major trophies has gathered pace over the last few days, with Virgil van Dijk leading a patched-up Reds side to EFL Cup final glory against Chelsea before the kids took centre-stage in Wednesday’s 3-0 FA Cup win over Southampton. With injuries continuing to bite, how many of Liverpool’s youngsters will get a chance to impress in the Premier League on Saturday when the leaders visit Nottingham Forest?

At the age of 18 years and 43 days, Jayden Danns became the youngest Liverpool player to score a brace since Michael Owen in November 1997 (17 years, 339 days vs Grimsby Town) on Wednesday, while fellow teenager Lewis Koumas was also on target as the Reds teed up an FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United. Bobby Clark and James McConnell joined the duo in impressing, and the quartet will now be eyeing league minutes at the City Ground.

With title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal not in action until later on Matchday 27, Liverpool can go four points clear at the summit on Saturday, having won seven of their last eight Premier League games (one defeat).

Klopp’s side are the highest scorers in the league, hitting the net 63 times, and their average of 2.4 goals per game is their third-highest ratio in a single season in the competition, having managed 2.7 in 2013-14 and 2.5 in 2021-22.

Liverpool could again be without their top three Premier League scorers for Saturday’s game; Diogo Jota (nine goals) will definitely miss out, while it remains to be seen whether Darwin Núñez (nine) or Mohamed Salah (15) will make it after suffering muscle injuries.

If Núñez and Salah miss out, greater responsibility will again fall upon Cody Gakpo and Luis Díaz. Díaz has found form at the right time, recording five goal contributions (three goals, two assists) in his last five Premier League appearances, more than he managed in his previous 25 (three goals, one assist).

luis diaz goal involvements premier league 2023-24

Ideally, Klopp would at least have Núñez and Salah available from the bench. Liverpool have seen their substitutes provide a combined 21 goals or assists in the Premier League this season (10 goals, 11 assists). In the competition’s history, only City in 2011-12 (24) and Arsenal in 2009-10 (23) have recorded more goal involvements by substitutes in a single campaign.

Liverpool could receive a major boost in midfield with Dominik Szoboszlai close to a return from injury, though Ryan Gravenberch won’t feature after being carried off on a stretcher in the EFL Cup final. Alisson and Trent Alexander-Arnold won’t return until late March, so Caoimhín Kelleher and Conor Bradley should retain their places in Klopp’s lineup.

Forest would have been Liverpool’s FA Cup quarter-final opponents had they managed to overcome United on Wednesday, but Casemiro’s last-gasp header dumped Nuno Espírito Santo’s men out of the competition. They can now focus on their fight for survival, entering MD 27 four points clear of the relegation zone.

Forest are, of course, waiting on the outcome of their charge over an alleged breach of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules. They were one of the losers as Everton’s 10-point deduction was reduced to six on appeal this week; the Opta supercomputer gave Forest a 16.7% chance of relegation prior to that announcement, and that has since risen to 18.5%.

Nuno’s men finished on the wrong side of a six-goal affair last time out in the Premier League, losing 4-2 to Champions League-chasing Aston Villa. Ollie Watkins’ tap-in and a Douglas Luiz brace put Villa 3-0 up before Moussa Niakhaté and Morgan Gibbs-White struck back for Forest, only for Leon Bailey to kill their fightback.

If they are to retain their top-flight status, Taiwo Awoniyi will once again be key. Since they returned to the Premier League last season, no player has been involved in more Premier League goals for Forest than Awoniyi (20 – 16 goals, four assists), despite the Nigerian only playing in 66% of their matches (42/64).

Awoniyi will lead the line again on Saturday, with Chris Wood still sidelined by a hamstring injury. Nuno Tavares, Willy Boly, Ibrahim Sangaré and Ola Aina are their other absentees.

If anyone is desperate to beat Liverpool, it’ll be Nuno. He lost all six of his Premier League meetings with them while in charge of Wolves. Only four managers in the competition’s history have a worse 100% loss record against a specific club – Gary Megson vs Liverpool, Marco Silva vs City (both nine defeats), Paul Jewell vs United (eight) and Chris Hughton vs Liverpool (seven).

Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool Head-to-Head

Forest have a remarkable record against Liverpool at the City Ground, going unbeaten through their last 13 home league games against the Reds (six wins, seven draws).

That run includes all six Premier League meetings between the teams at the ground (three wins, three draws). It’s the joint-most times Forest have faced a particular team at home in the competition without losing (also six vs Leeds United), and the most away Premier League games Liverpool have played against a team without winning.

Only against Arsenal between 1905 and 1928 (18 games) have Liverpool ever had a longer run of top-flight away games against a single opponent without winning than their current run versus Forest.

Awoniyi was the hero in this exact fixture last campaign, netting the winner against his former club as Steve Cooper’s men clinched a 1-0 victory.

However, Liverpool won this season’s return fixture at Anfield 3-0. They could now complete their first league double over Forest since 1984-85, when they were managed by Joe Fagan.

liverpool 3-0 nottingham forest stats

Recent Form

Liverpool have won three straight Premier League games against Burnley (3-1), Brentford (4-1) and Luton Town (4-1) since going down 3-1 at Arsenal in early February.

They trailed the Hatters last time out before fighting back for victory, and they have now recovered 22 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, already their joint-most in a single campaign (also 2008-09).

Away from home, 48% of Liverpool’s points have been earned from losing positions (12/25).

Forest, meanwhile, have scored in all nine of their league games under Nuno (17 goals in total), netting at least twice in seven of those matches. However, they have only managed one clean sheet under him, shipping a total of 18 goals.

They have taken 1.11 points per game since Nuno took charge in December (10 from nine games), compared to 0.82 under Cooper this term (14 from 17).

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 Liverpool Prediction

Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool prediction opta

Despite Liverpool’s injury crisis, the Opta supercomputer is siding firmly with the visitors.

Of 10,000 match simulations conducted by the supercomputer before kick-off, the Reds won 64% to Forest’s 14.1%, while 21.9% were drawn.

In our season predictions, Liverpool are second favourites in a three-horse title race, finishing top of the pile in 34.2% of scenarios. City do so in 51% of projections, and Arsenal in 14.8%.

Forest, meanwhile, finish 17th in a league-high 35.1% of scenarios, with the promoted trio of Sheffield United, Burnley and Luton Town favourites for the drop.

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