David Moyes’ men have lost three consecutive Premier League matches going into this important clash at London Stadium. We look ahead to the game with our data-powered West Ham vs Nottingham Forest prediction and preview.
West Ham vs Nottingham Forest: Quick Hits
- West Ham (48.3%) are predicted to pick up the win over Nottingham Forest (24.1%) by the Opta supercomputer.
- David Moyes’ team have plummeted down the Premier League table over recent weeks.
- Forest are on a high after beating Aston Villa but have struggled badly in away matches since the start of last season.
It doesn’t feel like long ago that West Ham United were sitting top of the Premier League table, but amid the excitement of their UEFA Europa League and EFL Cup engagements, the Hammers have plummeted down the standings over recent weeks.
Sunday’s home match against Nottingham Forest is a vital opportunity for David Moyes’ team to kickstart their league season prior to the November international break, after which there are two more winnable fixtures against Burnley and Crystal Palace.
They go into this clash at London Stadium sitting in 12th position, in danger of their impressive league results across the early weeks of the campaign going to waste.
Forest, meanwhile, are now only one point and one place behind them, having recorded a surprise 2-0 home victory over Aston Villa last week.
West Ham have knocked Arsenal out of the Carabao Cup and are on the brink of progression in the Europa League as they look to build on their UEFA Conference League success last season, with Lucas Paqueta’s volley against Olympiacos on Thursday ensuring they continued their continental momentum.
But as fixtures come thick and fast, their EPL form has taken a negative turn. After earning 10 points from a possible 12 and briefly enjoying a spell at the summit, the Hammers have since recorded only four points from seven matches, with their only win in that period coming against struggling Sheffield United.
The form of forward Jarrod Bowen has been a huge positive. He has seven top-flight goals so far this season to put him among the competition’s top scorers, with only Manchester City star Erling Haaland, Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah and Tottenham’s Son Heung-min registering more.
Stretching back to the end of last season, Bowen has 10 goal involvements in his last 12 Premier League starts, with eight goals and two assists, although he has not been quite as productive at home, with only two goals and one assist of his total coming in matches at London Stadium, a quirk he will be eager to address.
James Ward-Prowse’s output has mirrored West Ham’s in the Premier League. After racing out of the blocks with two goals and three assists in his first four matches after joining from Southampton, the midfielder has gone six straight league games without registering a goal involvement, so this would be a good moment for his top-flight output to turn.
His precise pass to set up Paqueta in the Europa League took him up to seven assists in all competitions this season and there is no top-flight player with more.
Forest’s home record has been formidable since their promotion, but their away form has been a constant problem since they returned to the highest level in 2022-23.
Since the start of last season, they have lost 17 away Premier League matches, more than any other side, and have had a league-high 13 away matches without scoring.
They are without injured strikers Chris Wood and Divock Origi, so will hope Taiwo Awoniyi can recapture his scoring touch. The attacker has not netted since his electric three-game run scoring against Arsenal, Sheffield United and Manchester United in August. Another absentee will be Callum Hudson-Odoi, who scored on his Forest debut versus Burnley but hasn’t played since 7 October at Crystal Palace following a thigh injury.
Former Man Utd winger Anthony Elanga will also be key if Forest are to improve their away results. He has featured in every game so far and had some notable performances, including netting the winning goal at Chelsea in September and a two-assist game against Luton Town last month.
West Ham vs Nottingham Forest Head-to-Head
West Ham have performed well in this fixture, winning four of their five Premier League home games against Forest. The only loss was a 1-0 defeat in 1997.
Overall, Forest have won just two of their last 17 top-flight meetings with West Ham, a run that includes eight defeats.
One of those two wins came last season, as Forest won 1-0 at the City Ground in August, with Awoniyi scoring on his full debut to seal an impressive home Premier League return for the hosts after 23 years away from the top-flight. Declan Rice had a penalty saved by Dean Henderson as Forest held on.
West Ham secured emphatic revenge in the home fixture. The match in February was goalless until the closing stages, but the Hammers netted four times in the last 19 minutes to triumph 4-0.
Danny Ings scored twice, while Michail Antonio and Rice were also on target, with Bowen, Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma impressing as creative forces. That victory was Moyes’ 250th at Premier League level.
West Ham have lost their last three Premier League games against Aston Villa, Everton and Brentford, which is the worst run they have had since suffering five straight defeats at the end of 2022.
Their form in other competitions has provided some comfort. They will face Liverpool in the League Cup quarter-finals after impressively beating Arsenal 3-1 and in the Europa League they won 1-0 against Olympiacos to avenge their 2-1 loss in Greece, making it nine straight home wins in Europe.
Paqueta has been directly involved in seven goals across his last eight appearances in Europe, with four goals and three assists, so the Hammers would love that production to translate to league action.
The win over Villa was an important one for Forest, who ended a six-match winless run in the Premier League that had halted their momentum after a strong start. The run was not quite as bad as it might sound – it contained four draws with the only defeats coming against elite opposition in Man City and Liverpool.
Still, Cooper’s team were fortunate to emerge triumphant against Villa, with the visitors creating the higher quality chances in the match and dominating possession. Both the home team’s goals came from outside the box and the two goals were scored despite Forest registering an expected goals total of just 0.38.
They now have three goals from 40 shots from outside the box in 2023-24, while last season they only scored two goals from 130 attempts outside the area.
Full-back Harry Toffolo will hope to continue his momentum after setting up the two goals scored by Ola Aina and Orel Mangala against Villa.
Odysseas Vlachodimos became only the third ever Greek goalkeeper to make a Premier League appearance in that game. He now has the chance to become the first Forest shot stopper to keep a clean sheet in both of his first two Premier League appearances.
Having already been knocked out of the EFL Cup and, unlike West Ham, not playing in Europe, Forest have a clear run at their Premier League matches and should be the fresher side, but they will still go in as underdogs.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
West Ham vs Nottingham Forest Prediction
The Opta supercomputer believes West Ham have a good chance of ending their poor recent run in the Premier League, with Forest facing a tough task to reverse their fortunes in away matches.
A West Ham victory in this match is given a 48.3% probability. The chances of Forest are not completely discounted, with their win rate at 24.1% and the draw also a threat at 27.6%.
Looking more broadly at our predictive model’s Premier League season predictions, West Ham are rated as most likely to finish in 11th place and, having fallen away from the leading positions, they finish between seventh and 14th in 89.9% of our 10,000 simulations.
Forest are currently most likely to finish between 13th and 16th positions in the Premier League standings. Their chance of relegation is just 3%, a massive improvement from the 33.8% rate they had at the start of the season.
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