Nottingham Forest welcome Tottenham on Sunday, in what will be the biggest game of their season so far. This is an opportunity for the promoted side to test themselves against one of the top six and the atmosphere will be bouncing. The win over West Ham United was a great occasion, but this is even bigger and they will be keen not to look out of place. For the visitors, it has been a strong start and they need to retain their unbeaten record. It will be tough for Spurs to challenge, but they need to make sure they don’t drop silly points during the early weeks to stay in contention.
It has been an extraordinary summer for Forest. Nobody can suggest that their owners haven’t shown ambition after promotion, as they have spent over £100 million and could even make further additions before the deadline. The challenge will be for Steve Cooper to ensure his new signings gel with those already at the club. It is a huge test of his managerial ability, but throughout his career, he has continued to prove himself.
Spurs have had a busy summer, but nowhere near the extent of Forest. It has been a positive start, even though, there is a feeling that there is a lot more to come from Antonio Conte’s men. Although few expect Tottenham to challenge, Conte will be showing that ambition and expect his squad to push a lot closer to Manchester City. He still has a number of new players to bring into the team, as he has eased new additions in so far. There will be rotation in the coming weeks with the return of Champions League football on the horizon. It will be interesting if there are any changes this weekend.
Nottingham Forest have won six of the 10 Premier League meetings between the two clubs.
Harry Kane has scored against 30 of the 31 sides he has faced in the Premier League. Nottingham Forest will become the 32nd opponent he has faced.
Although he hasn’t been the biggest name addition, there is a case to be made that Neco Williams has had the best start to his Nottingham Forest career. He looks to be a live wire down the right flank, with a lot of quality going forwards. It seems inevitable that he will get goals and assists this season. It is looking like a really smart piece of recruitment by Cooper to sign him from Liverpool. He is getting the chance to prove his quality in the top flight, after being stuck behind Trent Alexander-Arnold at Anfield. Williams is averaging 2.7 shots and 1.7 key passes per game in the Premier League, underlining his aggressive positioning on the pitch. Tottenham play with wing-backs, so it will be a big test of Williams. If he continues to perform as he has been, he could offer a threat.
Harry Kane is starting this season with a smile on his face and he looks a lot more settled at Tottenham. The appointment of Conte has had a major impact on that, as the club now look like they can challenge for major honours and they are back in the Champions League. Kane has started the season in great form, with two goals in three matches. There will be a personal ambition to win another golden boot and reinstate his reputation as one of the most prolific strikers in Europe. Forest have shown themselves to be vulnerable at the back during their early fixtures, due to the number of new arrivals. There is some uncertainty in their defensive structure and Kane has the quality to inflict a lot of damage on them.
Moussa Niakhate will be unavailable until the end of October, which has caused issues in the defence. Jack Colback could be back available, but Omar Richards remains at least a month away from a return. Morgan Gibbs-White could be pushing for a start.
Bryan Gil and Lucas Moura are both doubts for the visitors. However, Cristian Romero and Oliver Skipp won’t be fit to play any part. Ivan Perisic will be available after some concerns about his fitness during the week.
Nottingham Forest will be up for this one and they are a difficult team to predict due to the number of new arrivals during the summer. The atmosphere will be great and it could be a tough task for Tottenham to win. However, Spurs have looked good without really getting out of second gear. They should have enough quality and firepower to win the game.
Nottingham Forest 0-2 Tottenham