Nottingham Forest returned to the English Premier League after 23 seasons. The Tricky Trees visited Newcastle and suffered a heartbreaking defeat. Now, they’re determined to bounce back in their home opener, for which more than 30,000 screaming fans are expected.
They’ll face West Ham United, who also lost on Matchday 1 against Manchester City. The Hammers almost made the cut to be considered a dark horse to win the EPL title, but first they need to be more consistent, especially on the road. Even so, they come in as the betting online favorites to win at City Ground. Spoiler alert: It won’t be easy.
Nottingham Forest: Tough Opener
As previously mentioned, Nottingham Forest opened the season on the road. They visited Newcastle, a team that spent 37 million euros on center-back Sven Botman for a reason. Well, the 22-year-old delivered a great performance, contributing for the Magpies to win 2-0.
Defensively, the Tricky Trees put up a good fight in the first half, which ended 0-0. Offensively, it was a match that they’ll want to forget pretty soon. The main reason for them not being able to score was that they didn’t take a single shot on target.
“We need to keep learning as we go, it was good for the team to feel what the Premier League is about. Nothing has been defined. We’re disappointed but we’ll learn and make sure we’re better in certain aspects next weekend back at home,” said manager Steve Cooper to the press.
The talent is there. Nottingham’s roster includes Jesse Lingard, who used to play for Manchester United. There’s also Brennan Johnson, who last season finished as the team’s top scorer with 18 goals.
As Cooper mentioned, playing in the EPL is very different from playing in the Championship, but if the Tricky Trees want to avoid relegation, they need to turn City Ground into a fortress. Last season, they finished with a 13-4-6 record. They also scored 43 goals, 13 more than on the road. Even so, they’re offering a +330 price in the sportsbook to win Sunday’s game straight up.
West Ham United: Great Opportunity
West Ham United also lost 2-0 to Manchester City. The only difference is that the Hammers were playing at home. Well, there’s also the fact that they at least took one shot on target.
Anyway, after facing the reigning champs, there’s nothing better than facing one of the promoted teams, especially on the road, to avoid any type of pressure. Last season, the Hammers finished with a 7-3-9 record when playing away from home.
I can’t see West Ham’s attacking unit going two straight games without scoring. We’re talking about a unit that includes Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen and Gianluca Scamacca. Last season, the three combined for 47 goals. Scamacca was the team’s top signing in the last transfer window. He used to play in the Italian Serie A for Sassuolo.
“He looked really sharp when he came on. He won a few duels and brought the ball down and linked the play up. It’s still early for him, but his performance was really positive,” said left-back Aaron Cresswell about Scamacca.
He’s not wrong, but the Italian needs to score soon in order to avoid pressure from the media and the fans. Manager David Moyes decided to face the Citizens with a 4-5-1 formation, but that’s not going to be the case against the Tricky Trees. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hammers, who dominate the soccer lines at -115, play 4-3-3.
Nottingham Forest vs West Ham Head-to-Head
- Previous Matches: 116
- Nottingham Forest Victories: 44 (177 goals)
- West Ham United Victories: 46 (171 goals)
- Draws: 26
These two met for the last time in the 2013-14 season thanks to the FA Cup. It was in the third round of the prestigious tournament and Nottingham Forest crushed West Ham United 5-0 at City Ground.
Regarding the EPL, they haven’t met since the 1998-99 season. The Hammers won their last encounter 2-1.
Nottingham Forest vs West Ham Game Information
- Date: Sunday, Aug. 14
- Time: 9 a.m. ET
- Location: City Ground, Nottingham
- Nottingham Forest vs West Ham Live Stream: fuboTV
Nottingham Forest vs West Ham Betting Lines
|Nottingham||+½ -105||+330||2½ -110o||½ -210o
|West Ham United||-½ -115||-115||2½ -110u||1½ -110o
Nottingham Forest vs West Ham Prediction
So, there’s no doubt that West Ham United is the better team, but the atmosphere at City Ground will help Nottingham Forest to put up a really good fight. Enough to contribute for the total to go over 2½ goals, but not enough to pull off the stunner. Summing up, it will be a very entertaining game, which is why the over is the better option for you to include in your soccer picks. You can win $100 per every $110 you wager on the over.
Score Prediction: West Ham United 2, Nottingham Forest 1