What is going on at Nottingham Forest? Winless since their victory over Friday’s opponents in mid-June, they head to Huddersfield in a state of disarray. Forest have lost their last five games in all competitions, (losing twice to Barnsley) despite strengthening their squad in every position over the summer.
The Reds have failed to score in their three competitive fixtures this season and will need to rapidly address their goalscoring issues if they are to mount a serious promotion challenge.
Manager Sabri Lamouchi is under huge pressure to come away with a victory on Friday night and could hardly have asked for better opposition to do it against. Huddersfield have been as bad as Forest so far this season, losing their opening two league games without scoring a goal.
The Yorkshire side were also dumped out in the first round of the League Cup after a humiliating 1-0 defeat at home to League One Rochdale. Both sides desperately need a result on Friday night to turn their early season woes around and they could cancel each other out.
Anyone hoping for a high-scoring thriller on Friday night is likely to be hugely disappointed.
Neither Forest or Huddersfield have managed a goal this season in their two League games and sole League Cup fixture, and the chances of either one of them suddenly discovering their goalscoring touch are very slim.
Forest, under Lamouchi, have never been a swashbuckling side but seem to have regressed hugely in the final third since the restart in mid-June. They have created fewer chances, while Lewis Grabban – their go-to goalscorer since 2018 – has been missing more frequently than ever before on the seldom occasions when chances do come his way.
They boasted the second-worst goalscoring record in the top-16 last season and their goalscoring will need to drastically improve if they are to threaten the top-six this year.
Huddersfield, meanwhile, were equally poor in front of goal last season, boasting the fourth-worst goalscoring record in the entire division. In truth, they have been renowned for their poor net-findingh since they won promotion to the Premier League – scoring just 50 goals in their two seasons in the top-flight.
Don’t expect too many goals in this one.
It is telling that the odds of Lewis Grabban having just one shot on target are so close to even money.
The 32-year-old has been misfiring in the extreme in the early stages of the season, failing to even hit the target for a catalogue of glorious opportunities.
Having said that, Grabban has been one of the most feared strikers in the division over the past three seasons, including his brief loan spells at Sunderland and Aston Villa in 2017/18. He has certainly been Forest’s most prolific player since arriving in 2018 and Sabri Lamouchi really seems to trust him, meaning that he’s likely to see some action at the Kirklees stadium.
There’s no doubting Grabban’s ability, whatever Forest fans may think at the moment, and the odds of him finding the target on just one occasion are really excellent value.
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