The Premier League relegation dog fight takes centre stage on Monday night in an 8pm BST kick-off with Nottingham Forest vs Southampton at the City Ground. Defeat for the away team will all but condemn them to an unwanted return to the second tier whereas a loss for the home side could prove terminal for their survival hopes.
Tricky Tie for the Tricky Trees?
During a top-flight season, there are matches that can feel pivotal towards a team staying up and going down. For Nottingham Forest, this game certainly feels like that. Steve Cooper’s men are in 18th place but only inside the bottom three due to an inferior goal difference. Just 4 league games remain of the season for the club so every game matters. It’s just 1 win from the last 13 league encounters and 5 defeats from their last 6 league matches so concern is spreading amongst the fan base. The team are only 11/10 to win this game with Betfred.
One thing keeping Forest alive right now is their resilient home form. Despite this poor run of results over recent months, the team have only lost 2 of their previous 13 league matches at home. It gives them an encouraging platform to build their survival battle on. The bookies clearly think it could be crucial with BetUK pricing Forest as fourth favourites to go down at 9/10.
Defensive displays have been a worry for Cooper for a while now with Forest failing to keep a clean sheet in their last 13 league matches. Odds of 5/2 with BetVictor on Nottingham Forest winning this game with a clean sheet seem a little fanciful. However, Forest to win and both teams to score at 15/4 with William Hill is a lot more appealing. Midfielder Danilo is a doubt to start, but if he is in the starting XI, he looks decent value as an anytime scorer at 8/1 with Bet365 scoring in his last two appearances for the club.
Saints Need Saving
It’s hard to see Southampton getting out of this current predicament. The Saints are currently down at the foot of the table and 6 points adrift of safety. If they lose here, they could potentially be 9 points from the cut-off with just 3 league games to play. Ruben Selles’ men have Brighton and Liverpool to play in those last three matches after this game so even a draw here makes it look tough. It’s no surprise the bookies have all but stopped taking bets on a Southampton return to the Championship this season.
The club are on a dire run of 9 league games without a win and it’s now 5 defeats from the last 6 league matches played. There are little glimmers of hope in the statistics though. Southampton have kept two clean sheets in their last 4 away league games. You can find them at 11/2 with Betfair to win to nil in this one. Although if you’re backing them to pull off a win, their outright price of 27/10 with BetUK is attractive in its own right. Each of Southampton’s 6 league wins this season have also come by a single goal and Southampton to win by one goal here is listed at 9/2 with Paddy Power.
If you’re one who likes to look back on past seasons for clues in a team’s form then the fact Southampton have lost their last 5 top-flight league games played in May should concern you. The club have also suffered defeat in their last three league matches played on a Monday night. There is a feeling of inevitability about this one.
Nottingham Forest prevailed as the winners when these two met earlier in the season on the south coast with a 1-0 victory. A 27th-minute goal from Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi was enough to separate the two teams. There is a chance here for Forest to do the double in the league over Southampton for just the third time in their history.
This will be the first time the two teams have met at the City Ground in the Premier League since a 1-1 draw back in 1998. 6 of the last 9 meetings have seen both teams score and given what is at stake here we shouldn’t be surprised to see goals fly in at both ends as nerves and desperation set in.
Nottingham Forest vs Southampton Betting Tips
Well, what a game we have in store on this bank holiday Monday. Nottingham Forest will be treading a fine line between giving their survival hopes a massive boost and seeing their chances of staying up take a huge hit. Southampton know anything but a win realistically makes it very difficult to remain a Premier League club next season.
I’m going to have to back Nottingham Forest to win. I think their home record with the passionate and supportive home crowd behind them will offer a 12th player element. Southampton look dead and buried. I think that loss at home to Bournemouth was the moment it went. As a cheeky side bet, it’s worth noting that Brennan Johnson may not have scored in 6 league games for Forest but he did have a goal ruled out in their last match here and he has scored 7 of his 8 league goals at the City Ground so could be worth it at 13/5 with SpreadEx.
Nottingham Forest to Win @ 11/10 with BetUK
BTTS @ 19/20 with Bet365
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.
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