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Premier League | Gameweek 17
Dec 15, 2023 at 8pm UK
The City Ground
SL

Nott'm Forest
0 - 2
Spurs


Murillo (82'), Toffolo (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Richarlison (45+2'), Kulusevski (65')
Udogie (42'), Sarr (54'), Davies (73'), Heung-min (79')
Bissouma (70')

Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Premier League clash between Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Having bought himself a bit more time in the City Ground dugout, Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper seeks a major scalp over a reinvigorated Tottenham Hotspur in Friday's Premier League clash.

The Tricky Trees ended their losing streak by battling to a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out, while Spurs returned to winning ways in a 4-1 crushing of Newcastle United.


Match preview

One of several names to have been linked with the Tottenham job before Ange Postecoglou signed on the dotted line, Forest head coach Cooper was expected to become the Premier League's second managerial casualty of the season with a dissatisfactory result at Molineux over the weekend.

Tricky Trees owner Evangelos Marinakis elected not to pull the trigger in the wake of their midweek horror show against Fulham, where the Forest faithful continued to chant Cooper's name in a 5-0 demolition, and his decision was partially justified as Friday's hosts returned home with a creditable share of the spoils.

Making an abundance of changes from the side that were dismantled at Craven Cottage, Cooper witnessed Harry Toffolo head home the opening goal inside 14 minutes, and while Matheus Cunha's response denied the visitors a precious victory, the improvement from their midweek mauling was stark.

Having avoided a potentially fatal fifth-straight defeat, Cooper leads Forest into their Friday fixture with the Tricky Trees occupying 16th place in the Premier League table, safely five points clear of Luton Town in 18th place and within touching distance of an out-of-sorts Crystal Palace.

However, after stringing together an eight-game unbeaten run at the City Ground between April and November, Forest have suffered back-to-back home defeats in the Premier League to Brighton & Hove Albion and Everton; a 1-0 loss to the latter marked just their third scoreless top-flight home game since the start of last season.

One of those other two City Ground contests in which Forest drew a blank was against Tottenham in August 2022, where the Lilywhites were able to triumph 2-0 after taking the lead, which was not the case in their five Premier League contests before the weekend's visit of Newcastle.

Also suffering midweek misery at the hands of West Ham United, Postecoglou went from breaking the right records at the start of the season to making unwanted history, as Tottenham became the first team to score first in five successive Premier League games but fail to win any of them.

However, such frailties did not come to the fore during Sunday's clash with another injury-riddled outfit in Newcastle, who succumbed to a Richarlison brace, Destiny Udogie's first Spurs goal and Son Heung-min's 10th strike of the season from the penalty spot before Joelinton at least managed to wipe out the Lilywhites' shut-out.

Reverting to type after a nightmarish few weeks, Tottenham remain Champions League outsiders in fifth place but have the chance to draw level on points with Manchester City by overcoming Nottingham Forest, although Joelinton's late consolation at the weekend made it seven games without a clean sheet for the visitors.

Only three of Spurs' 12 Premier League games played on a Friday have ended in victory too, but the Lilywhites did the double over Nottingham Forest in the 2022-23 Premier League season by an aggregate score of 5-1, albeit while being dumped out of the EFL Cup by Cooper's charges in the third round.

Nottingham Forest Premier League form:

Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:


Team News

With 12 minutes left to play at Molineux, Forest centre-back Murillo - one of the hosts' standout performers this season - gingerly trudged off the field against Wolves, and the Brazilian is understood to have been suffering from a tight hamstring.

Forest fans are waiting with bated breath to see if Murillo will be passed fit, while former Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier (calf) needs assessing too, but Taiwo Awoniyi (groin) will definitely miss out.

Barring Felipe's potential inclusion over the stricken Murillo, Forest head coach Cooper should see no reason to disrupt the harmony after a praiseworthy point at Molineux, thereby forcing Chris Wood to watch on from the bench again as Anthony Elanga and Morgan Gibbs-White join forces in the final third.

As for Tottenham, long-term absentees Alfie Whiteman (ankle), Manor Solomon (knee), Ivan Perisic (knee), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), James Maddison (ankle), Rodrigo Bentancur (ankle), Ashley Phillips (ankle) and Micky van de Ven (hamstring) remain in the treatment room, where Giovani Lo Celso is also present after sustaining an unspecified issue in training.

Eric Dier should be the first on the conveyor belt out of the medical bay, but his groin injury may still take another week or two to heal fully, so Ben Davies should once again fill in alongside Cristian Romero, who escaped with just a yellow card for another rash challenge on Callum Wilson on Sunday.

Postecoglou's decision to move Son to the left and bring Richarlison back into the fray up front ended up being a masterstroke against Newcastle, and the latter should continue in a central role on account of finally scoring his first Premier League goals with his feet for Tottenham.


Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Turner; Boly, Niakhate, Felipe; Williams, Kouyate, Yates, Mangala, Toffolo; Gibbs-White, Elanga

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Vicario; Porro, Romero, Davies, Udogie; Sarr, Bissouma; Johnson, Kulusevski, Son; Richarlison


We say: Nottingham Forest 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur

With the Tottenham doctors still caring for a plethora of stricken players, Postecoglou's team remain vulnerable to a defensive lapse, and a fired-up Forest side who are seldom shut out at the City Ground should make at least one of their attacking sequences count.

Cooper's side will be under no illusions that they are playing for their manager's safety, but with Spurs re-lighting the blue touch paper against Newcastle, the visitors' offensive excellence should prove too hot for the Tricky Trees to handle, plunging Cooper's future into fresh doubt.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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