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Nottingham Forest will travel to Goodison Park for the first time since the turn of the millennium on Saturday. Forest claimed the bragging rights the last time they visited the blue territory of Merseyside in 1999. Can they take advantage of a dejected Everton side that lost both opening games? Or are the top football betting tips experts banking on Frank Lampard’s team picking up their first win of the season?
Frank Lampard has had many midfield battles against Steven Gerrard during his playing days. Last Saturday, he shook the hands of his former Liverpool adversary and national team colleague as a rival manager. It was Gerrard, however, who came out on top as his Aston Villa condemned Lampard’s Everton to a 2-1 defeat.
The results would show that Everton have lost both of their first two games of the season. But, it doesn’t reflect that the Toffees have shown much greater defensive resiliency in these two games than they did in the last season. Lampard has identified the backline as Everton’s problem area and has chosen to fortify it by bringing in Conor Coady on loan from Wolves and signing James Tarkowski, who has six years of Premier League experience to highlight on his CV, from Burnley.
In the first match, Chelsea struggled to breach the Everton defence throughout the game and had to rely on a late penalty to get all three points. They conceded twice against Aston Villa, but there were no glaring mistakes from defenders.
It’s the attack that has been the Achilles’ heel for Everton. Richarlison’s move to Tottenham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury has forced Everton to deploy a striker-less formation. They could not trouble the opposition defence much in both the matches they have played so far. Everton need reinforcements to bolster their attack, but they will have to figure out how to penetrate the Nottingham Forest defence with the options they currently have.
Yerry Mina went out of the squad for two months after spraining his ankle against Chelsea. He joined Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the Everton medical room. The striker is currently nursing an injured knee and expecting a mid-September return. Abdoulaye Doucoure may not be available for the Forest clash as well after sustaining a hamstring injury against Villa. Andre Gomes and Allan are also uncertain to feature.
Nottingham Forest are coming off the back of a historic Premier League win. The Trees tasted their first Premier League victory in 23 years when a Taiwo Awoniyi goal drew the line between them and West Ham at the City Ground last Sunday. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson also played a vital role in the win as he denied Declan Rice from the penalty spot and made a marvelous stop against Tomas Soucek.
Forests’ performance against West Ham is testament to the fact that they are not in the Premier League to make up numbers. The club have shown great ambition making 14 signings, despite having no kit sponsor yet. Awoniyi, who scored the winning goal for Forest, is one of their summer recruits. Nottingham Forest might prove to be a tricky opposition for Everton as well and inflict more misery on their Saturday hosts.
Steve Cooper had to withdraw Moussa Niakhate ten minutes from time as the centre-back picked up a hamstring problem. Nikhate is a doubt ahead of the Merseyside trip. Ryan Yates might miss out again because of his knee injury. Omar Richards will have to wait longer for his Forest debut as the former Bayern Munich man suffers from a fractured leg.
Everton’s lackluster attacking threat doesn’t make them favourites going into this tie. However, a cacophonous Goodison Park could still be a tough place to visit for the newly-promoted Nottingham Forest. It could end up being a goalless affair.
Draw @ 3.6