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West Brom vs Nottingham Forest Tips: Little to separate pair in Midlands clash

The Baggies welcome Forest this evening.
The Baggies welcome Forest this evening.

This weekend's Championship action commences at the Hawthorns as West Brom welcome Nottingham Forest on Friday evening. 

The hosts appear to be at a crossroads. To those outside of B71 it may seem a bit peculiar that fans of a side that currently sit in third place are so divided but this certainly seems to be the case for the Baggies faithful and this is due to their supremo’s style of play - Val-ball - which appears to have split opinion. 

In one of his first few interviews for WBA, Valérien Ismaël told fans that under his toutledge his side would be an “out of possession side” which sums up the way he sets his stall out pretty well. It’s all about keeping a high line, maintaining a high press -with relentless energy- and being a threat from set pieces for the Frenchman. 

West Brom vs Nottingham Forest Tips

He is very stubborn on these principles and does not compromise on formation, a narrow 3-4-2-1, or substitutions, two like-for-like changes on the hour mark up top. It is this lack of compromise- coupled with a run of bad results- that has left sections of fans a bit exacerbated. 

Things could get worse for the hosts here as well as they face the best side on the road in the division. Forest are unbeaten in seven away from the City Ground and no side has picked up more points on their travels then them (14) over the last six domestic fixtures. 

Steve Cooper will be forced to shuffle his deck for his side's trip to the Midlands. Jack Colback is suspended following two yellow cards on Tuesday, Gaeten Bong will likely slot in at left back. Elsewhere, following a pretty abject performance against Luton, Lyle Taylor will likely drop to the bench with Lewis Grabban coming in to spearhead the attack.

West Brom vs Nottingham Forest Odds

Today's football tips
Kyle Bartley To Have 2 Shots
7/5
Odds correct as of 2021-11-26 09:20 Odds subject to change.

No side in the second tier has had more shots (107) or generated a greater xG (11.8) than West Brom this season and the fact that they have only scored seven goals, almost five goals fewer than the data suggests they should have, implies that they have been unfortunate not to score more. 

The poster boy for this aerial dominance is central defender Kyle Bartley. Only forwards Matt Phillips, Jordan Hugill, Callum Robinson have a higher shots per game average than the former Arsenal defender who has had 27 shots this season. 

Bartley has had at least one shot in each of his last eight games, scoring and registering an assist over that period, as this bet has landed in his last five! Two points on this for me.

Draw
14/5
Odds correct as of 2021-11-26 09:20 Odds subject to change.

West Brom have lived in the realms of fine margins this season, 15 of their 19 league matches have been separated by a goal or less. 

Only three sides (Derby, Millwall and Luton) have drawn more games than them (6) as they have struggled to convert sustained pressure into clear cut chances as the season has progressed. 

The stature of the club, combined with Ismaël’s style of play also appears to be a burden as sides often come to the Hawthorns and deploy a low block. This often leads to a clash of styles which digresses into a stalemate which is epitomised by the fact that they have had 45 shots in their last two games and scored zero! 

Cooper has overseen eleven Forest games since taking charge at the end of September, during which time he has only lost once. This defeat came courtesy of Fulham who beat them 0-4. This was part of a three game stint that saw the Cottagers score 14 goals in three games, however, in the game vs Forest, the 4-0 flattered them as they only won the xG battle by 1.70. 

It is also worth noting that Forest have drawn four of their last five. All things considered, I will be having a point on things to end all-square.   

Matt Clarke Anytime Goalscorer
17/1
Odds correct as of 2021-11-26 09:20 Odds subject to change.

Sticking along similar lines to the thinking behind the Kyle Bartley punt, I also like the look of Matt Clarke in the anytime goalscorer market at 17/1 with Betfair. 

It is worth pointing out that the defender is yet to score this campaign. However, he has averaged 0.9 shots per game- that is ten in total, four of which have hit the target- and generated an xG of 0.76. It is also worth noting that he missed a big, big chance vs Blackpool in WBA’s most recent game. I will be having 0.5 points on this. 

Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.

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