Swansea travel to Nottingham Forest on Sunday lunchtime looking to keep their promotion charge on track. The Swans are fresh off a 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday during the week and they now turn their attention to a side who have been improving at home of late.
Forest have had the rub of the green over Swansea in the last two years since the latter’s relegation from the Premier League. In their last four encounters, Forest have won two and drawn two.
Sunday 12pm: Nottingham Forest v Swansea
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But the tables have turned somewhat this season and the two-time European Cup winners are languishing down near the relegation zone in 20th spot with 12 points from three wins, three draws and seven losses. They’ve already changed manager this season with Chris Hughton replacing Sabri Lamouchi who paid the price for a poor end to last season and woeful start to this one.
Forest have won two and lost three of their last five, with those victories both coming at The City Ground. In their last five home games, Hughton’s side have won two, drawn two and lost one. Swansea are have won five, drawn six and lost two this year, and have been fairly underwhelming on the road with a loss, three draws and one win in their last five away games.
Lies, damned lies and statistics. Those raw numbers don’t tell the whole story in this one. The reality is that Swansea have had a pretty tough run of away games, facing the likes of Norwich, Bristol City and Brentford already.
The opposite is true for Forest who have taken on Wycombe, Coventry, Derby and Rotherham on home turf. Swansea are by far and away the best team they’ve faced at home since they lost to Bristol City back at the start of October.
It is tempting to side with the draw and work on the basis that these two’s respective lines of form could lead to a cancelling out, but Forest have generally come unstuck when playing anyone in the top half. Losing their last two has halted the momentum from the two wins prior to that and Swansea should have enough quality to get their first away win since the end of September against a side who have shown they can’t mix it with the bigger boys.
A pattern that has emerged recently is that both of these sides are either winning or losing to Nil – and by small margins as well. This phenomenon has occurred in four of Forest’s last five games and three of Swansea’s.
This pattern indicates that whoever is getting on top is clinging onto that position and playing for the points rather than going out to crush the opposition. It also shows that those teams trailing are not able to find another gear to get that vital equaliser. Fatigue could be the dominant factor in this packed season. Both Teams to Score? No & Under 2.5 Goals feels like a really nice play in this one given the way things have turned out for these two recently.
Andre Ayew shrugged off slight injury to come off the bench and net for The Swans in their 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in the week. He can expect to return to the starting line up on Sunday and will fancy his chances of adding to his tally of six Championship goals.
Looking through his record this season he tends to strike later in games, capitalising on tiring defences, and that’s putting us off suggesting him as the first goalscorer in this one. Of the six he’s scored only one has been the game’s first so Andre Ayew to Score Anytime is the way to go on Sunday lunchtime at a really fair price.
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Tips for Nottingham Forest v Swansea
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