Manchester City continues to shine in the Premier League (PL) with a perfect start, winning all five of their matches. Their ability to come from behind and secure victories was evident not only in their recent 3-1 win against West Ham United but also in their Champions League triumph over Red Star Belgrade (3-1) on Tuesday. However, the demanding schedule is taking a toll on manager Pep Guardiola’s squad, especially after Bernardo Silva sustained an injury midweek, prompting Guardiola to admit that the club is facing some challenges.
Despite the injury setbacks, Guardiola remains determined, declaring that his team will relentlessly pursue success. However, as fixtures pile up, Guardiola might consider making tactical adjustments, particularly with a challenging Carabao Cup tie against Newcastle on the horizon after this PL clash with Nottingham Forest. Manchester City has reason to be optimistic, having secured 12 consecutive home league victories, including a trend of defeating Forest without conceding a goal in their last three home league head-to-head encounters.
Nottingham Forest boasts one of the largest squads in the league, which positions them well to handle injuries when they strike. Thanks to Callum Hudson-Odoi’s spectacular goal against Burnley on Monday (1-1 draw), Forest concluded matchday five within the top eight of the PL (two wins, one draw, two losses). Manager Steve Cooper expressed a desire for his team to secure victories, but acknowledged the importance of a point. A similar outcome would likely be acceptable against Manchester City.
For Nottingham Forest, points earned at home have been vital since their return to the PL. They had struggled to secure away wins, with their last victory in such a fixture occurring against Chelsea (1-0) in January. However, they have consistently posed an attacking threat, scoring in each of their last seven league away games, even against formidable opponents like Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United.
Two players to keep an eye on in this matchup are Julián Álvarez, who was Manchester City’s hero on Tuesday night, scoring all four of his goals this season at home, with none coming before the 30th minute. On the Forest side, Callum Hudson-Odoi made a memorable debut by becoming the first player since Geoff Thomas in 1998 to score in his Forest PL debut. He also netted a late goal against Manchester City for Chelsea in January 2021.
A noteworthy trend is that none of Manchester City’s last five matches featured goals scored before the 30th minute, highlighting their ability to perform well in the latter stages of matches.