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English Premier League

Liverpool v Nottingham Forest  – Preview, Predictions, and Best Bets

Liverpool host Nottingham Forest in the English Premier League at Anfield on Saturday.

Liverpool v Forest

Liverpool host Nottingham Forest in the English Premier League at Anfield on Saturday. The Reds have lost just once at home this season and need a win to keep their slim top-four hopes alive. Forest won the reverse fixture but they’re on a 10-match winless run and sit 18th in the table going into this clash.

Liverpool Form

Jurgen Klopp’s side are in curious form. They beat Man Utd 7-0 at home but went winless in five fixtures after that, including losing 1-0 at then-bottom-placed Bournemouth. That was followed by an exit from the UEFA Champions League after a 6-2 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid having lost the second leg 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu.

A 4-1 loss at Man City showed the gulf in class, before escaping with a 0-0 draw to Chelsea despite creating less than 0.1 Expected Goals in the second half. They’ve since looked like the real Liverpool again. They had 21 shots and 3.96 xG as they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home with Arsenal. In their last fixture, they won 6-1 at Leeds for just their fourth win on the road in the league this term.

Liverpool Team News

Central midfielders Stefan Bajcetic and Naby Keita are both out injured, as is fullback Calvin Ramsay. Klopp has an otherwise fully fit squad now that winger Luis Diaz is back from more than six months out injured.

Despite Darwin Nunez scoring of the bench against Leeds last weekend, it’s set to be an unchanged XI for Liverpool. Cody Gakpo will play centrally with Diogo Jota on the left. Curtis Jones will continue in the midfield three after some impressive recent outings.

Liverpool Motivation

This is a must-win match, both to keep alive their to four hopes and to try to build some momentum after a poor season.

The Reds will attack and they won’t take their foot off the pedal if leading 2-0. They will look to drive home the advantage by scoring more goals once their attacking subs are introduced.

Forest Form

Forest are on a dire run of results. Since beating Leeds 1-0 in February at the City Ground, it’s seven losses and three draws in 10 matches. Only six of their 27 points have come on the road and they’ve only netted five goals in 15 away fixtures.

After losing 3-1 at Tottenham and 2-1 at home to Newcastle, they took their only point in the last six in a 1-1 home draw with Wolves. They’ve since lost three in a row, beginning with a 2-1 loss at Leeds in a relegation six-pointer. Successive 2-0 defeats have followed, at Aston Villa and at home to Man Utd last Sunday.

Forest Team News

Steve Cooper has nine injuries for this match. He was happy to see Moussa Niakhate fit to start last weekend but defender Wily Boly and striker Chris Wood are still ruled out. Jesse Lingard remains on the fridges but Emmanuel Dennis will hope to be recalled to the XI.

Renan Lodi shook off a knock to play last time out and Serge Aurier is nearing a return on the opposite flank. Dean Henderson and Ryan Yates will need late fitness tests if they are to return to the bench. This fixture comes too soon for Cheikhou Kouyate though.

Forest Motivation

Forest are awful on the road but they will give everything to leave Anfield with a point. Steve Cooper’s side have been having very low possession numbers and can expect to have 30% possession in this match.

Once losing by two goals, it may become about damage limitation to try to preserve some confidence.

Key Stats

Liverpool have scored 36 goals in 14 home matches this season (EPL)

Liverpool’s 11 home goals conceded is the 2nd fewest in the division

Liverpool’s Salah has 7 goals in his last 7 league matches

Nottingham Forest are winless in 10 EPL matches (lost 7, drew 3)

Forest have scored just 5 goals in their 15 away league matches

Nottm Forest have taken just 6 of their 27 points on the road (11 losses in 15)

Verdict

With a very strong home side facing the league’s worst travellers, this match has a high scoreline written all over it. It may be worth backing The Reds on the spread in this one with Salah a good goalscorer bet.

Best Bet: Liverpool (-2 spread) at 2.30
Alternative Bet: Liverpool win to zero at 1.86
Build-a-bet Tip: Liverpool to score 1-4 team goals and Salah anytime goalscorer at 2.55

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James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter: https://twitter.com/footy_analysis

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