Stoke v Nottingham Forest
Tuesday December 29, 20:00
Stoke safe Boxing Day level
Stoke performed out a 3rd successive goalless draw on the street when the Potters have been held at Coventry on Boxing Day. In a recreation of few on-target efforts, it was Michael O’Neill‘s guests who appeared the almost certainly to interrupt the impasse, midfielder Jordan Thompson going shut both aspect of the break, hitting the bar with the second of his two makes an attempt.
Striker Steven Fletcher may have earned Stoke all three factors however was twice broad with good headed probabilities, first when Nathan Collins headed a deep free-kick throughout purpose after which from Tommy Smith’s cross. At the alternative finish, goalkeeper Joe Bursik was solely twice known as into motion because the Potters saved their hosts at arm’s size for the majority of the competition.
Speaking post-match, the City boss stated, “We are disappointed not to win. We had enough chances to win. We just couldn’t find the goal.” Morgan Fox’s hamstring harm had pressured O’Neill to vary his form from 4 on the again to a 3-5-2 with James McClean on at wing-back however Joe Allen‘s return to the substitute bench was welcomed by the Potters.
Forest held at St Andrew’s
Struggling Nottingham Forest prolonged their unbeaten run to a few video games in a forgettable goalless fixture with Birmingham on the City Ground on Boxing Day. The Tricky Trees had the higher of the primary half, with Ryan Yates going closest with a fierce strike that drew a effective response save earlier than the guests improved their efficiency ranges after the interval .
Forest had a late likelihood to take all of the factors when centre-half Tobias Figueiredo was denied. However, that was nearly their solely noteworthy try as they didn’t construct on an honest first 45 minutes that Blues unable to muster a strike on track. Nevertheless, Reds stopper Brice Samba was the busier of the 2 keepers, even when his saves have been all pretty regulation.
Not for the primary time, supporters have been left bemoaning the dearth of craft, guile and medical edge within the Forest shows. And talking post-match, boss Chris Hughton stated, “Defensively I’m happy with the clean sheet, but I just feel we needed to do more for that breakthrough, we needed to perhaps be a bit braver on the ball to allow us to get into some good positions.”
Both Championship conferences between Stoke and Nottingham Forest have been goal-filled affairs in 2019/20 with the away aspect victorious on each events. In truth, the Tricky Trees’ 3-2 triumph right here again in September 2019 was their first away on the Potters since 1994, though the duo have solely crossed swords on six events in that pattern (W0-D2-L4).
Stoke 2.407/5 have discovered a slice of consistency this season, constructed upon a well-drilled a strong basis. The Potters have solely been crushed on 5 events, recording a league-equalling better of 12 clear sheets in 21 outings (W9-D7-L5). The hosts have returned W5-D2-L3 on house soil with their solely defeats arriving in opposition to fellow top-half opponents.
Nottingham Forest 3.4012/5 appointed Chris Hughton simply 4 video games into the brand new marketing campaign and the previous Brighton boss has guided the Reds to a mediocre W4-D6-L7 return. The Tricky Trees have climbed out of the relegation zone however proceed to toil on their travels having suffered seven losses in 10 video games as company, while scoring solely 4 objectives.
Stoke have silenced seven of their final eight opponents with Under 2.5 Goals 1.501/2 additionally proving worthwhile in seven of these eight fixtures. Indeed, in 9 of the Potters’ 11 matches with bottom-half dwellers, Michael O’Neill’s males have saved their sheets clear (W5-D6-L0) and following a well-known blueprint may show the sensible solution to play Tuesday’s tussle.
Backing Stoke Double Chance and Under 2.5 Goals has paid out in 10 of these 11 duels with the league’s lesser lights, in addition to seven of the Potters’ earlier eight encounters. Meanwhile, a hefty 14 of Nottingham Forest’s 21 video games have delivered returns in the identical choice, together with eight of the Reds’ 10 street journeys in 2020/21.