Steve Cooper’s men went into the international hiatus on the back of a 1-0 success over Chelsea, whereas their visitors were put to the sword 5-2 by a merciless Tottenham Hotspur.
The fixture generator was not kind to Nottingham Forest when it came to their early road sojourns, as the Tricky Trees were forced to travel to Stamford Bridge having already been beaten on Arsenal and Manchester United’s turf, albeit not without putting up a good fight.
Cooper’s side entered the meeting with the big-spending Blues on the back of an early EFL Cup exit to this weekend’s foes, but there was no shred of a knockout hangover from Forest, who subjected Chelsea to an all-too familiar Stamford Bridge beating courtesy of a second-half Anthony Elanga strike.
As was the case at the Emirates, the Elanga-Taiwo Awoniyi linkup proved highly effective for Nottingham Forest, who defended with vigour and counted their lucky stars when the misfiring Nicolas Jackson spurned a gilt-edged chance to draw the hosts level.
With six points to show from four games during a respectable start to the new term, Forest entered the weekend sitting pretty in ninth spot in the rankings, although they have since been bumped down to 12th owing to results on Saturday.
Nevertheless, by defeating Sheffield United in their first home contest of the season, Forest have impressively won each of their last four Premier League matches at the City Ground, although not since the days of Brian Clough in 1991 have they prevailed in five consecutive top-flight games on their own territory.
Seeking to spoil the City Ground parade and inflict a 100th Premier League loss upon Forest, Burnley have recent when it comes to silencing the Nottingham crowd, having progressed to the third round of the EFL Cup courtesy of a last-gasp Zeki Amdouni strike on August 30.
Besides their slender triumph in the knockout contest, though, Burnley fans have otherwise had little to cheer during a disastrous start to the Premier League homecoming, one which has left them rooted to the foot of the rankings as one of only two sides yet to put a point on the board – the other being Luton Town.
With a proposed clash against the Hatters at Kenilworth Road being pushed back, Burnley enjoyed the luxury of playing each of their first three games on the Turf Moor turf, but following crushing losses to Manchester City and Aston Villa, the Clarets were carved open at will by Tottenham a fortnight ago.
Lyle Foster’s fourth-minute opener had the Championship winners on cloud nine, but a Son Heung-min hat-trick, Cristian Romero rocket and James Maddison stunner completed a fabulous comeback job for the Lilywhites, and there were only muted cheers when Josh Brownhill reduced the arrears four minutes into second-half injury time.
Despite bossing backlines in his playing heyday, Kompany has now seen his charges concede more goals than any other top-flight team so far – 11 to be exact – and only once before has a side conceded at least three goals in each of their first four Premier League matches – the 20th-placed West Ham United crop of 2010-11.
Nottingham Forest Premier League form:
Nottingham Forest form (all competitions):
Burnley Premier League form:
Burnley form (all competitions):
We say: Nottingham Forest 2-0 Burnley
Inconsistent on the attacking front and shipping goals at an alarming rate, Burnley’s trip to the City Ground seems destined to be another miserable affair for Kompany’s troops, in spite of their success in this fixture in the EFL Cup.
Brennan Johnson may be long gone, but Forest did not need the Tottenham Hotspur-bound Welshman to get the job done against Chelsea and ought to march to their fifth successive home victory with minimal fuss.