Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Burnley

Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Burnley

Following defeats for both sides at the weekend, Premier League rivals Nottingham Forest and Burnley meet at the City Ground in the second round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday.

Forest threw away a 2-0 lead against Manchester United to lose 3-2 at Old Trafford on Saturday, while Burnley suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday.

Given that Steve Cooper’s side managed to win just one of their 19 away games in the Premier League last season – scoring a measly 11 goals along the way – even the most optimistic Nottingham Forest fans could not have predicted the start that their team made against Manchester United.

With less than two minutes on the Old Trafford clock, Taiwo Awoinyi stole the ball in his own half before scoring for the seventh consecutive Premier League game, while Willy Boly converted a Morgan Gibbs-White free kick to make it 2-0 inside four minutes.

Unfortunately for Forest, they were unable to hold onto their advantage as Man Utd battled back, with goals from Christian Eriksen, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes turning the game on its head, while Joe Worrall was sent off midway through the second half.

Still, Cooper can take confidence from his team’s performances this season, as the Tricky Trees suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat at Arsenal on the opening weekend before beating Sheffield United by the same scoreline at the City Ground, courtesy of Chris Wood’s 89th-minute winner.

It is also worth remembering that Forest made it all the way to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup last term, dispatching Grimsby Town, Tottenham Hotspur, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers before suffering a 5-0 aggregate defeat to Man Utd.

Meanwhile, Burnley were beaten 3-1 by Aston Villa last time out, meaning that Vincent Kompany’s side have failed to pick up a point since returning to the Premier League, although they have only played two games so far.

Last season’s Championship winners experienced a baptism of fire on the opening weekend, suffering a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City while managing a solitary attempt on target, with Erling Haaland bagging a brace before Anass Zaroury’s late red card.

On Sunday, it was Matty Cash’s turn to net a double at Turf Moor as the Aston Villa right-back scored twice inside the opening 20 minutes to give Burnley a mountain to climb, with Moussa Diaby completing the scoring after Lyle Foster’s strike for the hosts.

Burnley were the best team in the Championship by some distance last term, losing just three of their 46 matches to accumulate 101 points, but Kompany’s men have struggled to adapt to the demands of the Premier League during the early stages of the 2023-24 campaign.

That said, the Clarets have made it to the fourth round of the EFL Cup in each of the previous three seasons, so they will fancy their chances of enjoying another eye-catching cup run this term.

Nottingham Forest form (all competitions):

Burnley form (all competitions):

We say: Nottingham Forest 3-2 Burnley
Nottingham Forest and Burnley have played a combined total of five matches this season, with each clash producing at least three goals.

For that reason, we expect the two sides to serve up an entertaining encounter on Trentside, with Forest edging the contest thanks to their strong home record.

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