Two matches will be played in the English Championship on Sunday afternoon with Nottingham Forest’s clash with Huddersfield Town at City Ground being the main attraction. Kick-off is set for 14:15 GMT and this will be one of many English games shown live on TV this weekend. It’s a busy period for armchair football fans as the main divisions race to a conclusion.
The Tricky Trees and the Terriers are no strangers to competitive action, having met 56 times in the past. The head-to-head stats show Huddersfield lead the way on 22 wins with Forest scoring 17 victories and 17 games ending in a draw. Huddersfield battled to a 2-1 win in the reverse of this fixture at John Smith’s Stadium back in December, but the performance was rather more comfortable than the final score would suggest.
The home team enter game 39 of the season holding a spot in the top six and looking likely to secure a playoff finish this term. Nothing has been achieved just yet, however, meaning they must continue picking up points if they are to ensure an extended season. Their opponents are stuck at the opposite end of the charts and fighting against relegation. This promises to be a fascinating encounter from the first whistle.
Forest winless in three
Nottingham Forest sit fifth in the Championship table after 38 games played. Their season stats so far show 16 wins and 13 draws against 9 defeats. That’s the same number of losses at this point of the campaign as Leeds United who are joint-top of the league. Draws and an inability to finish opponents off from a winning position has hampered Forest’s progress and blocked them from becoming a side pushing for the automatic promotion places. They have scored 49 goals but conceded 39 which is only two more against than pacesetters West Brom.
The home team’s recent form is somewhat of a mixed bag. They have suffered only one defeat in their last five league games, but the same period is made up of three draws and a single win. 61 points on the board means Forest are three behind Fulham in third place, 10 off the pace of West Brom and Leeds but also only four better than Cardiff City who are sitting outside of the playoff places. Without a win in their last three, things could still unravel quickly for Sabri Lamouchi’s men.
The locals returned from lockdown with a 1-1 draw away to Sheffield Wednesday. Despite being on the road that was a match man fans expected them to win and they took the lead through an opening goal from Lolley on 69 minutes. That looked like it would be enough to secure a return to winning ways for Forest, but they fell back into bad habits. Wickham scored deep into stoppage time for Sheff Weds, netting an equaliser with 93 minutes on the clock. A sucker-punch.
Huddersfield beaten in their last two
Huddersfield Town finished last season bottom of the Premier League and they were relegated to the Championship as a result. Time spent mixing it with the giants of English football, including Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea provided an injection of cash to the Terriers bank balance and many predicted the club would spend this campaign pushing for a return to the top tier. That has proven to be miles off the mark, however, and Huddersfield are in real danger of suffering back-to-back relegation. Going from the Premier League to League One in two seasons would be disastrous.
Danny Cowley’s side enter this match down in 20th, just two places better than the relegation zone and a point above Hull City in 21st. It’s worrying times for all connected to the John Smith’s Stadium. Will they stage a late escape plan, climbing the table and distancing themselves from the drop zone? If they are to secure their place in the Championship next season they must seriously improve on their recent form. Huddersfield have lost three of their last five games and each of their last two.
That recent collapse began with a loss at Elland Road against Leeds United in their final match before lockdown was enforced. With Leeds chasing the title and Huddersfield involved in a relegation battle it was no surprise to see the higher-ranked team ease through. They returned last week but suffered a similar fate, beaten 2-0 by Wigan Athletic at home on Saturday. The Latics are in great form and eased their relegation worries with a 2-0 away win thanks to goals from Lowe and Pilkington. Terriers boss Cowley told members of the press at full-time his men were bitterly disappointed with the result and the levels of their performance.
Nottingham Forest vs Huddersfield prediction
Much of the division stands between these teams and that’s for good reason. Nottingham Forest have been consistent throughout the campaign and if not for a few dropped points due to draws they could be driving at the automatic promotion places. The locals deserve full credit for how they have turned around their fortunes and they’ll be keen to make home advantage count.
Huddersfield are a capable side on their day and have pulled off a few surprise results already this season. The pressure is on the visiting team to get something out of this match and ease their relegation worries but they struggled last week, lacking fitness and match sharpness. The coaching staff will want to see a much better performance on Sunday.
EFL Championship odds
The betting has Nottingham Forest as odds favourites in the match winner market with odds of 23/20 attached. Huddersfield are 255/100 to score a crucial away win or there’s 215/100 for members happy to back the draw.
Will both teams score in what’s sure to be a nervy 90 minutes? Taking yes in the both to score market is even money with no trading at 18/25. The game producing more than two goals is 13/10.