The latest weekend of action in the Premier League concludes with the Monday Night Football which this week takes us to the City Ground where Burnley go in search of a first point back in the top flight when they take on Nottingham Forest.
Forest have begun their second season in the Premier League much more encouragingly than they did their first one while Burnley have started very worryingly and it will be interesting to see if the form plays out here or if there is a turnaround.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Monday Night Football programme which will be live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League. It begins at 6.30pm ahead of a slightly earlier kick off at 7.45pm.
Nottingham Forest have started the season with two wins and two defeats but when you consider that those four matches have seen them play away to Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, they probably would have settled for six points at this stage of proceedings. Home form was so key for Forest staying up last season and they have won their only home match this term, which bodes well for them throughout the course of this match.
The interesting thing will be whether Forest can continue to pick up results without Brennan Johnson. He was always the focal point of so many attacks so without him they might need to rethink their attacking plans. You do wonder if the defence will hold up against the scrutiny of the very best sides as well but this is a Forest team who work hard and at home in particular are very clinical. They’ll need to do both here.
I think the general consensus among onlookers regarding Burnley when the season started was that the way they dominated the Championship would equate to them being fine in the Premier League this season. They play a much more modern brand of football to the one which they played the last time they were in this division. The only problem is that more than half of the league play that style and most of them are better at it.
It is still a little on the early side to write the Clarets off because they have only played three matches, albeit all of them at home, but Manchester City, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur are not fixtures that any promoted side would circle on the calendar as games they would expect to earn many points from. This might be one that is more in that category but the way Burnley have begun leaking goals and looking a little light up top is very much a concern.
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Nottingham Forest will be without Danilo as he has been ruled out with a hamstring injury while Serge Aurier and Anthony Elanga will have to pass fitness tests in order to feature. Divock Origi could make his debut for the Tricky Trees.
Burnley will continue to be without the suspended Anass Zaroury while Michael Obafemi and Hjalmar Ekdal will miss out with injuries. Aaron Ramsey and Vitinho have recovered from knocks though and could feature.
This feels like a bit of a trappy match to get involved with. Are Burnley really as bad as their results have suggested or was it just a tough schedule to begin with? Can Forest really operate without Brennan Johnson straight away or will they have a dip in form? These are questions which we will probably only know the answer to at the end of this match but it doesn’t make betting on the outcome of it particularly easy unless we guess at one of the answers.
I’m not going to do that but there is a clear pattern of play involving Burnley that I am happy to attempt to take advantage of and that is down their left side where they are having big issues in the left-back area having failed to secure the services of Ian Maatsen in the transfer window. Whoever plays there for Burnley is always under pressure anyway because there is little help from whoever Vincent Kompany employs on the left wing. That is reflected in the fact that in the last two Burnley games the opposing right-back – Matty Cash and Pedro Porro, have had six and three shots respectively. I’ve ignored the Manchester City game because Pep plays his full-backs in all kinds of weird and wacky positions. The majority of the Forest attacks came down their right when Johnson was around but I’m not convinced things will naturally switch, not least because Callum Hudson-Odoi isn’t the worst replacement, but as defenders try and keep him quiet it could open the door for Serge Aurier to step in and fire a shot away. He did that in the only other home game against Sheffield United and statistics in Burnley games so far suggest the chance will be there should the Ivorian want a pop at goal.
Back S.Aurier – Over 0.5 shots for a 3/10 stake at 2.38 with Bet365
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