Tottenham Hotspur plays the weekend’s last game, as Spurs travel to Nottingham Forest for the first time in over 16 years; what can we expect?
Nottingham Forest is back in the Premier League for the first time this century and has signed 19 new players for this season, making them potentially hard to predict. However, like Tottenham, Forest is showing some trends through three games and should present Spurs with a tough but overcomeable challenge. Here are five things to look for as Spurs face the Tricky Trees at City Ground.
Forest is going to play Spurs tough at home
Part of a growing trend of newly promoted Nottingham Forest is not going to park the bus and hope they can hang on against Spurs, especially at home. Only the second home top-flight contest in 34 years, anyone thinking Nottingham is coming in with a game plan for a draw has not watched Forest play.
Forest will try to play out from the back and pass their way through Tottenham. In a 3-4-1-2 formation similar to Tottenham’s, look for Forest to try and find Jesse Lingard in the middle of the park, sitting behind the two strikers.
When they are off the ball, expect tough, hard-nosed defense from a Forest side. Whether coming from Neco Williams on the edge or Lewis O’Brien in the middle, there are few free passes by the Forest midfield, as they love to put in a tackle and throw their body at the ball. Expect Nottingham to play hard for 90 minutes and try to take three points, which should make for a good game.
Can Tottenham keep converting dead ball situations?
After going most of last season without scoring from a corner, Tottenham scored twice this season. It may be the new set-piece coach Gianni Vio, or it may just be the odds coming into balance. Whichever it is, we may start to learn Sunday afternoon at City Ground.
Given their rough and tumble style of football, Nottingham Forest will commit their fair share of fouls. Fouls mean opportunities for Tottenham. Expect Tottenham to get at least one dangerous free kick, maybe even a penalty. The question is can Spurs capitalize on these opportunities?
If it is a spot kick, my money is definitely on Harry Kane to convert, but it is the other significant opportunities with dead ball situations; Spurs need to find a way to capitalize.