With the Premier League relegation battle intensifying, we look ahead to Sunday’s game at Goodison Park with our Everton vs Nottingham Forest prediction and preview.

Everton vs Nottingham Forest Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer makes Everton narrow favourites, with the hosts winning 39.3% of pre-match simulations.
  • Everton have won just one of their last 15 Premier League games (D6 L8).
  • Forest striker Chris Wood has scored 12 goals from 31 shots in the competition this season, with his 38.7% conversion rate the best of any player with 10+ attempts.

Match Preview

Premier League relegation will be on everyone’s minds when Everton and Nottingham Forest meet at Goodison Park on Sunday, with the pair battling it out for survival after their respective points deductions.

Everton have been docked eight points across two separate punishments for breaches of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules, while Forest incurred a four-point penalty for similar misdemeanours. That leaves Sean Dyche’s side 16th in the league table, just a point and a place clear of Nuno Espírito Santo’s team heading into the weekend’s action.

Everton also have a game in hand on their rivals, though Forest will have found comfort in watching Chelsea hammer the Toffees 6-0 on Monday night. Cole Palmer scored four times along with goals for Nicolas Jackson and Alfie Gilchrist as Dyche’s side wilted under the Stamford Bridge lights.

That humiliation marked Everton’s second-biggest margin of defeat in the Premier League, only behind a 7-0 loss to Arsenal in May 2005, while Dyche suffered the heaviest loss of his 531-game managerial career.

Chelsea v Everton xG race

It might have been different, though, had Beto not squandered a 10th-minute chance worth 0.95 expected goals (xG) with the score at 0-0 in west London. The Everton striker sliced a left-footed effort over from inside the six-yard box as Séamus Coleman’s pinpoint delivery went to waste.

That night to forget against Chelsea saw Everton’s goal difference take a hit as they slipped to -16, level with Forest, while their relegation chances jumped from 5.6% to 7.6% in Opta’s end-of-season predictions – making the Toffees the biggest losers of Matchweek 33.

By contrast, Forest saw a very slight improvement in their survival hopes after a 2-2 draw against Wolves at the City Ground, with their relegation likelihood dropping from 33.1% to 32.7%. The equation is simple for Nuno’s side now; match the results of 18th-placed Luton Town – who are two points behind – until the end of the season to stay up.

Morgan Gibbs-White and Danilo were on target last Saturday against Midlands rivals Wolves, though Matheus Cunha’s double ensured Gary O’Neil’s side snatched a draw. Whether that proves to be a point gained or two dropped at home for Forest remains to be seen, but they are improving every week.

Forest have won six points across their last five Premier League games (W1 D3 L1), also beating Fulham following draws with Crystal Palace and Luton, after only winning four in their first eight top-flight matches of 2024 (W1 D1 L6).

It is an entirely different scenario for Everton, who have won just one of their last 15 Premier League games (D6 L8), while their last two top-flight victories came against Burnley (2-0 in December, 1-0 earlier this month).

Dyche may point to defensive issues for those struggles, having conceded 48 Premier League goals this season after shipping 66 in 2021-22 and 57 last term. They last conceded 50+ in three consecutive 38-game campaigns between 1907-08 and 1909-10.

The above troubles may be music to the ears of Nuno, but more so for Chris Wood. The Forest striker will fancy his chances against a wounded Everton defence, with 12 goals from 31 shots in the Premier League already this season – the best conversion rate of any player with 10+ attempts (38.7%).

Wood may also face a depleted Everton backline come Sunday’s kick-off, after right-back pair Coleman and Nathan Patterson suffered muscle injuries against Chelsea. Idrissa Gueye will also likely miss out with a calf problem, while Dele Alli remains out long term battling hip and groin injuries.

Jarrad Branthwaite was also removed at Stamford Bridge with what Dyche described as a “minor” issue, though he should be fit for the weekend. The same goes for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Lewis Dobbin.

For Forest, Nuno will hope to have Anthony Elanga back fit for his lineup, which will remain without Taiwo Awoniyi and Willy Boly.

Everton vs Nottingham Forest Head-to-Head

Everton are looking to complete their first league double over Forest since 1996-97, having triumphed 1-0 at the City Ground after Dwight McNeil’s second-half rocket in early December.

Nottingham Forest v Everton stats

Back-to-back victories over Forest are not unlikely either, considering Nuno’s team have won just one of their last eight Premier League games against Everton (D2 L5). Their last success came at Goodison Park in January 1999 under Ron Atkinson.

However, Dyche’s side are winless in their last two home games against Forest in the Premier League (D1 L1) and their recent record at Goodison Park is far from encouraging…

Recent Form

Everton have won the fewest home games (10), earned the fewest home points (37), lost the most home games (17) and scored the fewest home goals (32) among the 17 ever-present sides in the Premier League since the start of last season.

Yet among the same group over that period, Forest have also won the fewest away games (three), earned the fewest away points (18), lost the most away games (23), scored the fewest away goals (28) and conceded the most away goals (77).

The first goal could be decisive on Sunday as well given each of Everton’s last 10 Premier League home wins have been to nil. The Toffees have failed to win any of their last 22 at Goodison Park when conceding (D5 L17).

Everton’s last such victory when conceding at home was against Crystal Palace in May 2022 (3-2), a result that saw them avoid Premier League relegation under Frank Lampard. Dyche will be hoping for similar here should his team concede on Sunday.

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.

Everton vs Nottingham Forest Predicted Lineups

Everton predicted lineup v Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest predicted lineup v Everton

Everton vs Nottingham Forest Prediction

The Opta supercomputer predicts a much-needed Everton win as the hosts triumphed in 39.3% of 10,000 pre-match simulations.

Yet Forest have improved in recent weeks, leaving their win probability at 31.4% and just clear of the draw in 29.3%.

Everton vs Nottingham Forest prediction Opta

The three promoted teams – Luton (61%), Burnley (98.5%) and Sheffield United (99.8%) – remain favourites for relegation, according to Opta’s end-of-season predictions.

Though three points here would go a long way for Forest (32.7% chance of relegation) or Everton (7.6%) to boost their survival likelihood.

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