Pep Guardiola’s men appear to have found their stride as they march towards the Premier League title, and on Sunday they could also impact the relegation battle. Look ahead with our Nottingham Forest vs Man City prediction and preview.

Nottingham Forest vs Man City Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Manchester City are overwhelming favourites for this one, winning 69.1% of the Opta supercomputer’s pre-match predictions.
  • City have scored four goals in each of their past four league games, a feat only achieved by three teams beforehand.
  • Forest have kept just one clean sheet in their past 23 Premier League games.

Match Preview

Whatever happens at the City Ground on Sunday will have a significant impact on the outlook at both ends of the Premier League table as Manchester City expect to take another step towards the title against struggling Nottingham Forest.

With the Premier League’s 2023-24 season entering its final few weeks, the stakes are incredibly high at either end of the table and so the margin for error is even narrower than usual.

Arguably, though, this match takes on greater importance for a Forest side desperately trying to stay afloat, as they go into the weekend a point above Luton Town and the relegation zone. With no one expecting them to come out of this with any points to show for their efforts, any such surprise could provide a huge boost heading into their final three matches.

For instance, the Opta supercomputer considers Forest huge outsiders for this contest, and so any result other than a defeat will likely give their survival hopes a notable nudge in the right direction, especially if Luton are unable to beat Wolves at Molineux a day earlier.

Forest do also have some reasons for optimism. City have lost on each of their two visits to the Midlands in the Premier League this season, going down 2-1 at Wolves and 1-0 at Aston Villa.

Furthermore, Forest coach Nuno Espírito Santo has won three of his past five league encounters with City (L2), and he’s also only lost once in four top-flight home meetings against Pep Guardiola’s men.

Forest have players capable of doing some damage as well.

Morgan Gibbs-White has been involved in four goals in his last three Premier League home games (2 goals, 2 assists), while his 19 goal involvements at the City Ground since the start of last season account for at least eight more than anyone else.

And then there’s Chris Wood, whose goals have been vital in keeping Forest’s survival hopes alive, especially lately; he’s got six goal involvements (5 goals, 1 assist) in his past nine home league starts for the club.

Nevertheless, there’s no getting away from the fact the defending champions head to the City Ground in an ominous mood. City were exceptionally comfortable in Thursday’s 4-0 hammering of Brighton at the Amex Stadium, extending their unbeaten run to 30 matches across all competitions to become only the third English top-flight club to go 30+ games without a defeat.

That was also the fourth league game in succession in which they’ve scored four or more goals, a feat only three teams had ever achieved before in the Premier League.

Guardiola will reach 300 Premier League games as a manager in this match, making him the 19th boss to reach such a landmark, though Forest can cling to the omen that six of the last seven to hit 300 have lost their milestone match.

It remains to be seen if City are without Erling Haaland again, though. The Norwegian striker’s condition isn’t thought to be serious after sustaining a muscle strain, though he wasn’t included in the squad for the win at Brighton.

Otherwise, Guardiola has a clean slate of injuries; Nuno isn’t far off being in a similar position. Willy Boly is a long-term absentee with a muscle injury that’s restricted him to a single league appearance in 2024, and the only other question mark relates to Taiwo Awoniyi. The Nigerian is back in training, though, so a return shouldn’t be far off.

Nottingham Forest vs Man City Head-to-Head

The headline fact here is that Forest have only lost three of their past 16 top-flight home games against Man City, the most recent of which was in 1993. Of course, City became a slightly different beast during Forest’s long Premier League exile, so we can’t read too much into that record.

Nevertheless, City were unable to leave the City Ground with a victory last season as they were held to a 1-1 draw. Bernardo Silva had put the visitors ahead just before half-time, only for Wood to level in the 84th minute – with what was his first league goal for the club.

City were 2-0 victors at the Etihad Stadium in September, though, seeing out the win despite Rodri earning a red card early in the second half. Phil Foden and Haaland had already netted to put the champions on the path to victory.

As such, if City do win on Sunday, it’ll be their first league double over Forest since 1999-00, when both sides were in the second tier; they last did it in the top flight nine years earlier.

Recent Form

As already alluded to, City haven’t lost in any competition (no, we’re not forgetting Champions League elimination to Real Madrid; losing on penalties doesn’t count as a defeat) since they were beaten 1-0 at Villa Park in December.

Furthermore, since back-to-back league draws with Liverpool and Arsenal in March, City have really found their goalscoring groove, netting 17 times in their past four top-flight matches.

Forest, on the other hand, have won just one of their last nine league games and kept one clean sheet in 23. Granted, they’ve held Wolves and Crystal Palace to draws and beaten Fulham in their three most recent home matches, but it’ll take something special to see off a ravenous City side that can seemingly sense the title is in sight.

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 on Sunday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Nottingham Forest vs Man City Predicted Lineups

Nottingham Forest predicted lineup vs Man City
Man City predicted lineup vs Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest vs Man City Prediction

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Man City are huge favourites for this one, winning 69.1% of the Opta supercomputer’s 10,000 pre-match simulations.

Forest came out on top just 11.0% of the time, making them by far the least likely team to earn a home win in the Premier League this weekend. The draw occurred in 19.9% of sims.

That does at least mean the projection model considers there to be roughly a 30% chance of Forest claiming at least a point; while that wouldn’t be enough to claw them out of the bottom three if Luton win on Saturday, it’d be a point more than many expect.

For the time being, Forest retain a 64.2% chance of avoiding relegation, whereas City are the big favourites for the title, holding off Arsenal in 71.7% of the latest simulations.

Nottingham Forest vs Man City prediction

Enjoy this? Subscribe to our football newsletter to receive exclusive weekly content. You should also follow our social accounts over on XInstagramTikTok and Facebook.