Nottingham Forest have only four Premier League games left to play and find themselves in the relegation zone and are playing for their fate in May. Here are Forest’s chances of staying in the Premier League.
Almost a year ago to the day, the mood at the City Ground was upbeat. Steve Cooper’s side had just made a spectacular climb up the Championship table to reach the play-offs and hope to return to the Premier League, 23 years after leaving it. A journey that finally ended in promotion thanks to a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town at Wembley. The whole city of Nottingham celebrated this achievement and optimism for the future of the club was high.
In an attempt to stay in the Premier League, a huge job has been done to reshape the team and replace players who left, most of them due to their completed loans. A total of 23 players arrived at the club in the summer, followed by seven new recruits in January. A reshuffle often misunderstood by outside observers but necessary in its entirety to create a squad capable of meeting the demands of the Premier League.
After an eventful season, punctuated by ups and downs, it’s time to establish what Nottingham Forest’s chances are of staying in the Premier League, by comparing the club’s fixtures to those of its competitors.
Nottingham Forest have a programme with which they can largely expect to win points. The first game will probably be the most decisive. The Reds welcome Southampton to the City Ground next Monday. If they win, and if their rivals’ results are poor, Forest can hope to climb out of the relegation zone. After that, Steve Cooper’s men travel to Chelsea before hosting Arsenal in the final City Ground game of the season. While the Gunners will be very difficult to beat due to the title challenges they face, getting a result against the Blues would be something possible, especially given Chelsea’s current form. A win or a draw at Stamford Bridge would make Nottingham Forest’s survival mission more and more likely. Finally, the last game of the season will be played at Crystal Palace. A formidable opponent in recent times who will be hard to beat. So we’d better hope that we’re already in the clear before then.
The Saints are currently last in the league and will face some very tough games before the end of the season. As mentioned, the first game will be at the City Ground against Forest. Then they face Brighton, who will be giving everything they’ve got to qualify for the European Cup next season. The last two games will be against Fulham, who are having a great season, and Liverpool, who like Brighton still have to fight for a chance to qualify for European competition.
The Toffees are set for a tough end to the season. Their long run of consecutive seasons in the Premier League is under threat and it will be difficult to reverse the trend. The first step in the mission will be to face Brighton. Then it’s on to Manchester City, who are crushing everything in their path and need to win every game until the end of the season to clinch the Premier League title. Then it’s on to Wolves and Bournemouth, two teams in late-season form who have their survival almost assured, although Wolverhampton are coming off a 6-0 defeat to Brighton last weekend.
It’s a high-stress end to the season for Leeds United. The club have not won since beating Forest on 4 April and have sacked coach Javi Gracia to appoint Sam Allardyce as head coach until the end of the season. Big Sam’s mission will start with a tough start against Manchester City followed by a second clash, this time against Newcastle. Then comes a game against West Ham and finally some hope with a game against Tottenham, who are in real crisis at the end of the season.
The Foxes have not lost in three games but have some complicated fixtures before they finish the season. Firstly, they have to face Fulham next Monday. Then Dean Smith’s men will host Liverpool, who are in the hunt for Europe. This will be followed by a game against Newcastle before facing West Ham in the final game of the season. A tough schedule that they will have to manage well if they are to have any hope of staying in the Premier League.
Nottingham Forest’s rivals in the race for survival all have tough fixtures before the end of the season, which may give Steve Cooper’s men some hope. However, anything can happen in football and Forest will have to rely solely on themselves if they are to have any hope of staying in the Premier League at the end of the season.