Nottm Forest v Millwall: Forest fancied to keep Lions at bay


CHAMPIONSHIP specialist James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) shares his thoughts on Friday night's match-up between Nottingham Forest and Millwall.

Nottingham Forest v Millwall | Friday 6th March 2020, 19:45 | Sky Sports

Your Friday night viewing comes from the Championship this weekend as promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest entertain a Millwall side looking to close the gap to the play-off positions. Neither team are in blistering form of late in terms of victories, but they continue to prove hard to beat. Therefore, quite a tight and tactical contest is anticipated at The City Ground.

A reason for this is because Millwall have a joint-league high of 15 draws to their name. They’ve lost only nine of 36 matches, which is only one less than Forest, yet there is a nine point difference. There is very little in comparison in terms of goals scored and conceded, so it really is likely to be a case of fine margins determining this one.

Lamouchi demands Forest response

It was a funny old night at the Riverside Stadium on Monday night. Forest took the lead early on, to then fall behind before half-time and then earn a last gasp equaliser to earn an away point. Boss Sabri Lamouchi said in the end he was relieved with a draw, but overall was disappointed with their performance, highlighting their lack of organisation as a particular issue.

Strong organisation has ultimately been the bedrock to their improved showing this season, so that will be a bit of a concern. Nevertheless, an away draw is never necessarily a bad thing, and they’re normally good at bouncing back when the question is asked of them.

Whilst automatic promotion may appear a little out of reach at the moment, Forest do still need to keep the foot on the accelerator. A few defeats could then all of a sudden see their play-off spot come under threat, with a team like Millwall hoping to pounce.

Patience may be key however as Forest are used to teams coming to the City Ground and playing a particular way. They’ve dropped home points to the likes of Middlesbrough, Charlton, Hull and Reading.

Rowett calls for stronger start

Gary Rowett was another manager not best pleased with how side team performed last time out. They hosted an out of sorts Bristol City, and the Millwall boss was rather annoyed with how they started the match. They fell behind after 10 minutes, and following the encounter he stated his unhappiness with the first 20 minutes and felt it was a missed opportunity.

A trip to Nottingham Forest therefore is another presented opportunity for them, and the sort of one they really need to make the most of if they’re to really gate-crash the promotion picture. That is easier said than done of course, but the Lions have notable away scalps of Preston, Bristol City, Swansea and Derby to their name this season, so they’re capable.

The concern at the moment is that goals are proving quite hard to come by. It is just three across their last seven league fixtures, and with that being the case you can safely assume that Rowett will set his team up in a relatively defensive manner and look to play on the counter attack.

Playing this 3-4-3 shape away from home has proved quite successful, and tactically it may suit against a Forest side who have issues against such shapes.

The betting angle

One difference between these teams is that Forest generally carry a greater goal threat in relation to having more shots on goal. They sit sixth in the league average for shots on goal, whilst Millwall are all the way down in 20th. That is why I do think Forest are the side we really have to focus on, but also acknowledge that Millwall will come looking to make life hard for their opponents.

The reality is that is two wins in seven for Forest, but three of the last four have been draws. It is one triumph in nine for Millwall, with four of the last seven being draws. Neither are at the peak of their powers at all.

It is noticeable that goals don’t tend to flow at the City Ground, mainly because of reasons I have stated above. 11 of 17 here featured Under 2.5 Goals, including the last four. Millwall’s last seven in succession ended under, too, so they’re not unfamiliar to these type of matches.

Nottingham Forest Double Chance and Under 2.5 Goals is a worthy 23/20 (Betway) call.

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Nottingham Forest v Millwall – Nottingham Forest Double Chance and Under 2.5 Goals (23/20 Betway)

About Author

Since leaving university I've worked as a Research/Football Performance/Betting Analyst. I live and breath all things football. This has gradually helped me with my betting when looking for value and ultimately, winning selections. I've experienced both the bad, and more recently, the good supporting Lincoln City, with whom my weekends aren't the same without.

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