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Nottingham Forest vs Crystal Palace predictions: Both teams to bag at City Ground
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Simon Barlow
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Nuno Espirito Santo's Nottingham Forest are in the drop zone after four-point deduction and five-game winless run
Nuno Espirito Santo's Nottingham Forest are in the drop zone after four-point deduction and five-game winless run

- Nottingham Forest have scored and conceded in four of their last six home league games
- Both teams have scored in seven of Crystal Palace’s last eight away league games
- Recommended bet:
Both teams to score

Nottingham Forest host Crystal Palace on Saturday in a Premier League relegation six-pointer that the home side cannot afford to lose.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have taken just one point from their last four top-flight matches and now languish in the bottom three after being hit by a four-point penalty for breaching Premier League profit and sustainability rules.

They would be sitting above the safety line had they not allowed a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Luton last time out.

Meanwhile, Palace have suffered more than their fair share of late setbacks and remain in the relegation mix after Cauley Woodrow’s stoppage-time leveller in their latest league game against the Hatters earlier this month.

Team news

Forest full-backs Nuno Tavares and Gonzalo Montiel will again miss out as they continue to recover from thigh injuries, leaving Neco Williams and Harry Toffolo to line up in defence once more.

But there could be a change to the back four after Wily Boly limped off with his problem in Ivory Coast's friendly draw with Benin on Tuesday, joining Chris Wood (knock), Taiwo Awoniyi and Ola Aina (both muscle) as doubtful starters.

Felipe and Andrew Omobamidele are on standby to replace Boly if he fails a fitness test while Divock Origi could get the nod to start as a central striker, with Morgan Gibbs-White, Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi operating just behind.

As for Palace, Oliver Glasner will be forced into a change between the posts after goalkeeper Sam Johnstone underwent elbow surgery that rules him out for the rest of the season.

Former Forest loanee Dean Henderson will take over in goal and there could be a change at wing-back too with Daniel Munoz to be assessed after sustaining a minor problem while in action for Colombia.

Midfielder Cheick Doucoure (Achilles) remains out together with defenders Marc Guehi (knee) and Rob Holding (foot).

Michael Olise is not far away from making his comeback from a hamstring strain, but this match could come too soon.

The stats

Oliver Glasner's Crystal Palace now have an eight-point cushion over the relegation zone
Oliver Glasner's Crystal Palace now have an eight-point cushion over the relegation zone

Nottingham Forest have kept one clean sheet in their past 18 Premier League matches.

This season, Forest have won just two of their 12 top-flight games against teams currently in the bottom half of the table, drawing six and losing four.

Forest’s current tally of 21 points is six points fewer than their total after the same number of games last season while Palace are two points better off now than they were at the same stage of the 2022-23 campaign.

But the Eagles have already conceded 48 league goals in the current campaign, only one short of their tally for the entirety of last season.

And Palace have conceded more goals than any other club in the last five minutes of Premier League matches this season — 14 after late strikes by Tottenham and Luton in their last two league games.

Prediction

Forest’s punishment could have a galvanising effect on a squad that has not yet been able to replicate the chemistry they found at the back end of last season.

Santo’s experience and pragmatism may also prevail over Glasner’s bullish attempt to turn Palace into a more attractive side before their safety is fully secured.

But Forest have lost seven of their last nine home league games, which suggests this is not the right time to be trusting them to take three points at the City Ground.

Both teams have scored in four of their last six at home and they passed up several good chances to score in the only match during that run when they failed to register — the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool earlier this month.

And with both teams having scored in seven of the Eagles’ last eight away league games, plus the recent tendency of both clubs to concede late goals, each side should have ample opportunities to get on the scoresheet this weekend.

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