The weekend’s Championship fixtures don’t finish on Saturday, there’s 2nd tier action at the City Ground tonight and we’ve picked out the best bets for the 7:45pm kick off. Brighton are the visitors and they are eyeing up that valuable second place and they will want to inflict more misery on Nottingham Forest.
Nottingham Forest v Brighton Preview
Brighton have the luxury of watching how their rivals fare this weekend before they even kick a ball on Monday night. If Burnley or Middlesbrough slip up, the Seagulls could use that as extra motivation to see off a struggling Nottingham Forest.
Chris Hughton’s side have shown time and time again that they’ve got the appetite to be in this promotion fight as they came from behind to see off Birmingham at St Andrews on Tuesday. Festive blip aside, Brighton have been excellent this season and very entertaining to watch. The last time they played on a Monday night, they put Leeds to the sword when racing into a 4-0 first half lead. They score goals a-plenty and have more than matched the likes of Burnley and Hull.
They have a potential promotion showdown against Middlesbrough on the final day of the season which could be pivotal as both sides are playing exceptionally well at the moment. Not only have they been impressive going forward, they’ve shown steel at the back and Connor Goldson has proved a wonderful signing. His partnership with Lewis Dunk is improving game to game and he looks like a leader at a very young age. They kept five clean sheets in a row prior to the game with MK Dons and it’s hard to write them off here.
Chairman Tony Bloom has come out and said he isn’t surprised by his side’s quest for promotion to the Premier League. Not many other people will have seen it coming though as they were bang average for most of last season.
Tomer Hemed, the aforementioned Goldson and Jamie Murphy are all looking like great signings, but loans have helped along the way with Anthony Knockaert impressing since his arrival from Leicester.
There’s not been much to shout about for Nottingham Forest this season unfortunately. They are languishing in 17th at the moment and although it would take a spectacular set of results to send them down, stranger things have happened. Paul Williams is in temporary charge following the sacking of Dougie Freedman and they have struggled since the former Bolton boss packed his bags.
They’ve won just once in their last eight games and that was a 1-0 win here against Preston. They are struggling at the back and shipped two to Reading and three to Brentford. Many of which could easily have been prevented.
They had an unbeaten run earlier in the year, but it was to the detriment of attractive football and the fans got on the back of Freedman. Any kind of late run for the play-offs fizzled out and there’s a lot of rebuilding to do in the summer.
Their next managerial appointment will be key, although with the typically short tenures of previous bosses, it’s a tough act for whoever steps up. The Chairman is in talks with two potential new bosses, with former Brighton boss Guy Poyet rumoured to be one of the duo.
Paul Williams hopes to have Michael Mancienne back for this encounter. The centre-back is described as ‘touch and go’ by his boss for this fixture. Kelvin Wilson limped off against Reading, prompting a reshuffle at the back with Danny Fox filling the void left by the stricken Wilson. Having Mancienne back would ease the defensive crisis somewhat and the former Wolves man has an extra few days to recover with this match being a Monday night fixture. Jack Hobbs remains on the sidelines.
Brighton look likely to name an unchanged team. Jiri Skalak claimed two assists against Birmingham and looks set to continue his run in the team. Hughton is unlikely to tinker with his back four or front two.
Nottingham Forest v Brighton Predictions
With rumours that Paul Williams is set to walk away and talk of a new manager being appointed soon can’t be conducive to a good team spirit and I think Forest will struggle once again. To concede three times to an out of form side like Brentford is very poor form and with Brighton on a terrific run of results, I’d back the Seagulls all day long. My first Nottingham Forest v Brighton prediction is for Brighton to win. They can be backed at 5/4 with William Hill.
With Forest’s defensive worries and Brighton in decent scoring form, I think we will see a few goals here. The last two for the home side have had three goals in them whilst the last three for the visitors have featured three or more goals. My second Nottingham Forest v Brighton betting tip is for Over 2.5 goals. It can be backed at 11/8 with Bet Victor.
There are a number of players who could find the net for Brighton. Everytime I tip Tomer Hemed as an anytime goalscorer tip, Sam Baldock finds the net and vice versa. So, let’s try James Wilson. The on loan Man United forward came very close last weekend against Burnley and is always lively. My third Nottingham Forest v Brighton betting tip is for James Wilson to score anytime. He is 11/5 with Ladbrokes.
Nottingham Forest v Brighton Betting Tips
Brighton win – best odds 5/4 with William Hill.
Over 2.5 goals – best odds 11/8 with Bet Victor.
James Wilson to score anytime – best odds 11/5 with Ladbrokes.
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