An exciting weekend of Premier League action begins on Friday night when the show heads to the City Ground to start us off as struggling Nottingham Forest play host to one of the better teams of the campaign so far in Tottenham Hotspur.
Forest will be looking over their shoulders after a tough run of form this season and probably be grateful that the promoted sides are yet to fully find their feet. Spurs have the chance to reinforce that they are back and steal a march on the rest.
Where to watch
The match will be shown as part of the Friday Night Football programme which will be shown live on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League channels. The show begins at 7pm and kick off at the City Ground is 8pm.
You always wonder if a team is going to kick on in a second season in the Premier League or whether they are going to get found out a little and struggle. Forest certainly haven’t done the former and aren’t a million miles away from falling into the spot of the latter and that has already created a bit of pressure, with the media talk already coming in terms of Steve Cooper and his future should they lose this game, which is hardly ideal.
Last season Forest stayed in the division based on their home form but this term they have won just two out of seven matches in their home surroundings and one of those was against Sheffield United when they needed a late winner. They have failed to beat Burnley and Luton Town here and have gone down to Everton as well. Injuries have not helped Forest this season but you sense they need a positive performance as well as result just to put that 5-0 loss at Fulham recently behind them.
It has been an up and down campaign for Tottenham Hotspur but their fans are clearly encouraged by what they have seen overall and they should be too. There is always this necessity to play a certain way at Spurs and the club had got away from that with a couple of dinosaurs going away from the modern game. They have returned to what works for them and you sense they are only going to improve the longer this season goes on and in the ones to come.
Injuries have halted the progress they were making this term. When they started to strike Tottenham were top of the league and had their fans really dreaming. They needed to avoid injuries but having failed to do so they are probably looking for a top four finish from here on in. Even with their injuries they had no problem going in front in matches and now that some players are beginning to return you sense their form will pick up again.
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Nottingham Forest could welcome a couple of defenders back from injury for this match. Former Spurs defender Serge Aurier could face his old club while Murillo is hoping to be fit. Taiwo Awoniyi is out for the foreseeable though which isn’t helpful.
We already knew that Tottenham Hotspur would be without key men in James Maddison and Micky van de Ven and now Ange Postecoglou will have to do without Giovani Lo Celso, who picked up a knock while training this week.
I think we are going to get goals in this Friday night match. Nottingham Forest have only kept one clean sheet at home this season and have only failed to score once as well. Their defence has been opened up a few times on the road recently which would be a concern and this vibrant Tottenham attack are likely to put it to the sword you would think but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic of Forest finding the back of the net.
Tottenham have only kept two clean sheets on their travels this season – at Bournemouth before their strong recent run and at Luton who missed an absolute sitter along the way – and generally have a defensive disaster in them. Admittedly the absence of Taiwo Awoniyi isn’t ideal for the home side but Spurs switch off too much defensively and aren’t afraid of sending the full-backs into areas where the team becomes exposed. That makes me think both teams will score and a draw doesn’t really do much for either so I’ll bump my bet up to even money by backing a third goal to come somewhere.
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