Forest to handle uninspiring Blues
Nottingham Forest take on Chelsea at the City Ground on New Year’s Day in aiming to improve their position in the relegation battle ahead of the January transfer window.
The Reds have struggled on the whole this season, but picked up some crucial points before the World Cup break to give themselves a fighting chance of climbing out of the bottom three in the coming months.
Forest went down 3-0 at Manchester United on Tuesday evening, but will fancy their chances of taking something against an underperforming Chelsea side.
Giulian Biancone, Cheikhou Kouyate, Moussa Niakhate and Omar Richards will miss out for the hosts, while Morgan Gibbs-White and Jesse Lingard are doubtful.
The Blues’ injury list also poses some challenges to Graham Potter, with Wesley Fofana, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell and Armando Broja all unavailable for this one.
Forest have been desperately poor in front of goal this season considering the standards that they set in the second half of last term in the second tier.
Brennan Johnson remains a threat, but is a little inexperienced to be spearheading their survival, while Emmanuel Dennis and Taiwo Awoniyi have shown promise without suggesting they are reliable focal points for the level.
The Blues appear to have an uphill task to finish in the top four this season, something that may be essential for Potter to retain the faith of the supporter base.
Chelsea have not been convincing in front of goal either this term, creating just 1.29 xGF per game on average, not a figure typically associated with a side as strong as the Blues, and a regression in the defensive numbers that contributed heavily to the club’s success under Thomas Tuchel have led to their struggles this term.
The Blues are rightful favourites for the encounter, but it is hard to back them with confidence at such a short price.
I do not see Chelsea running away with one, that said I am not enticed by an outright pro-Forest and instead am looking at unders.
Forest have scored in six of ten.
Forest have conceded in six of ten.
Forest have seen both teams score in three of ten.
Forest have seen over 2.5 goals in four of ten.
Chelsea have scored in six of ten.
Chelsea have conceded in seven of ten.
Chelsea have seen both teams score in four of ten.
Chelsea have seen over 2.5 goals in three of ten.