CHAMPIONSHIP fan Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) oversees Sunday afternoon's televised EFL action, picking out his best bets.
Nottingham Forest vs Swansea | Sunday 29th November 2020, 12:00 | Sky Sports
Sunday’s feast of football starts at the City Ground, and if you’re looking to solve a tough betting proposition, this is the one for you.
Swansea start the weekend in fifth ahead of their trip to the East Midlands to take on a Nottingham Forest side at the wrong end of the table.
For the Swans, it’s just one defeat in their last eight, but the reliance on André Ayew was highlighted once more in their 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday during the week.
But for Chris Hughton’s Forest, they sit just three points above the drop zone after consecutive away defeats at Barnsley and Bournemouth.
Forest under Hughton
Since Hughton took the reigns at the City Ground, Forest have started to turn a corner, but they were outplayed by Bournemouth during the week.
It’s now nine games played, with a record of W3, D3, L3. Those three defeats have all been on their travels, with their home form being much more solid and consistent with two wins and two draws in four games.
One thing can be said though – don’t expect goals! Eight of those nine have seen under 2.5 goals, with just the 2-1 win over Coventry, which came with a 90th-minute penalty going over.
The same can be said for Swansea as well. 11 of their 13 league games this season have finished with two or fewer goals, so this will be tight and, at times, scrappy. It brings the draw into the equation and the chance to back either of these sides in the Asian handicap market.
Goals should be in short supply too with the fact that Forest have only scored nine times – just the bottom three sides have scored fewer. That’s despite having an expected goals of 19xGF, so they’re not taking their chances, which is what they need to turn around.
While for Swansea, it’s the opposite story. They’ve conceded just eight goals, which is the second-best defensive record in the league behind Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough, and that’s partly down to them having an expected goals against (xGA) of 11.1 – the lowest of the 24 teams.
The betting angles
Trying to work this one out was tough. Forest’s 4-2-3-1 against Swansea’s 3-4-1-2 means there are likely to be a few match-ups, which could play into the hands of the tackles markets.
The obvious one has to be Jack Colback is the top tackler for the hosts. He’s averaging 2.8 per game and he’s made nine across Forest’s last two games.
He’s played more than 60 minutes on 11 occasions this season, and in those games, he’s gone on to complete three or more tackles in eight of them. So, with the likelihood of him coming up against Ayew, Jamal Lowe and Yan Dhanda makes that line look like a way in.
Another angle could be with Forest shots. They rank second for shots per home game (15.5), so looking along those line brings a few potential candidates into play.
Colback’s fellow midfielder Ryan Yates ranks joint-third for shots in this Forest team. He’s had the same amount of attempts (19) as the club’s top scorer Lyle Taylor.
He’s completed 90 minutes in 10 games and has had 2+ shots in seven of those. While in a 23-minute cameo against Coventry, he still even managed to record three.
The 23-year-old isn’t afraid to pull the trigger, so the 10/11 for 2+ shots appeals, while in three home games, he’s also hit the 3+ mark, which is worth a small play.
In what should be a tight and low-scoring game, two Forest midfielders could be the way to go.