Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest Odds, Predictions, Picks | Premier League Preview
Jacques Feeney/Getty. Pictured: Raheem Sterling.
Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest Odds
|Nottingham Forest Odds||+650|
|Over / Under|
-163 / +130
Chelsea will look to build on their momentum when they take on Nottingham Forest on Saturday morning at Stamford Bridge.
Mauricio Pochettino earned his first Premier League win as the Blues' manager last weekend against Luton. They continued their winning ways in the midweek when they defeated League 2 side AFC Wimbledon in the second round of the EFL Cup.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest were eliminated by Burnley in the EFL Cup on the same day – an indication that they haven't quite recovered from their 3-2 loss to Manchester United on match day 3 where they let go of the two-nil lead they gained in just the fourth minute of the match.
Here is my breakdown of the Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest odds, and my pick for the Premier League match on Saturday.
There has never been a question about the Blues' individual talent, and it seems that Pochettino is beginning to bring the best out of his players, specifically Raheem Sterling.
The English attacker opened his scoring account for the 2023–24 season, bagging two goals and an assist against The Hatters. But it's not just his goal-scoring ability that seemed to return, but his overall bounce and dangerousness on the ball that we came used to seeing at Manchester City is also back. Sterling has attempted 21 take-ons and has completed four dribbles into the box this season, both of which are the most throughout the first three match days, according to theanalyst.com.
Sterling taking on defenders opens up even more running lanes for Nicolas Jackson, who is already getting served passes from Enzo Fernandez, who leads the league in passes into the final third and through balls. Jackson scored his first goal for the London side last weekend off an assist from Sterling to tally the first goal combination between what could be one of the league's most dynamic duos.
However, though Chelsea's offense seems to be clicking under Pochettino, their defense is still in question. Yes, they shut out Luton, but that was their first clean sheet since April, and just the week prior they were exposed by West Ham 3-1. Starting fullback Reece James will also still be sidelined due to a quad injury that occurred in match day 1.
Forest haven't had the start to the season they would have hoped for, sitting in 14th place with just one win to their name, but they've played one of the toughest schedules up to this point. They fell to Arsenal on opening weekend and most recently to Manchester United. Their sole win this season came against Sheffield United at home.
However, despite their tougher schedule in the early parts of the season, Nottingham Forest have shown that they can produce goals. They have scored in each of their league games so far, extending their streak to 10 consecutive league games with a goal scored dating back to last season.
What makes the Trees dangerous in attack is the aerial threat they pose. Three of Forest's five goals this season have been headers, more than any other EPL side. Dating back to last season, five of their last nine goals in all competitions have been scored from a header, including the two headers they had against Chelsea late last season.
Though Nottingham has had success scoring, their record is their record due to defense. They have conceded six goals in their three league matches, and opposing teams are hitting the target on 46.2% of their shots against them, both of which are second highest in the EPL.
Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest
Pick & Prediction
Until proven otherwise, Chelsea's inconsistency is always in question when betting on them. Pochettino seems to have found the right buttons to push with his attacking players, but the defense is yet to benefit from his new tactics.
It is also unwise to assume Chelsea have regained their home-field advantage, as their win against Luton was their first home league win since March 4th, when they beat the now-relegated Leeds United 1-0.
Much like the Blues, Nottingham Forest have shown promise on the attacking side but lack discipline defensively. And as bad as Chelsea have been at home in 2023, the Trees are struggling just as much on the road, going winless in their previous 12 league matches.
That said, Forrest have already given two top-six sides struggle this season, and I expect them to put up another good fight against this Chelsea team, who are yet to show they will regain the level of their peers.
Back both teams to score with the belief that these two productive offenses will punish the defense errors we have seen out of both sides early in the season. Moreover, this bet would have cashed in their last two matches against one another last season, when they drew both outings.