Good morning and happy tuesday, hoddlers.
Aleksander Mitrovic and Fulham were in the spotlight on Monday after securing the EFL Championship title in a 7-0 (!!!) thumping of playoff hopefuls Luton Town, but that was only the warm-up act to the most consequential match of the season.
It’s Bournemouth-Nottingham Forest, and the Premier League awaits the winner.
The Cherries sit second in the league, but a victory will see Forest overtake them with only one game remaining in the season.
Bournemouth were co-promotion favourites from the start, and sat comfortably in the top six for close to the entire EFL Championship season.
Forest have had a more interesting route to get to this point. The club were projected to finish 18th in the league (per FiveThirtyEight), but got off to an even more disastrous start. They began the season 0-1-5 and sacked Chris Hughton on September 16.
In came Steve Cooper, previously of Swansea City, to rescue the club sitting at the bottom of the table.
Since taking over he has employed an attacking style of football that has nearly brought Forest to the top of the English football period for the first time this century.
Following a 5-1 win against Swansea over the weekend, Forest now have the second-best goal differential in the league. That’s because of their top two scorers: Brennan Johnson (16) and Lewis Grabban (10). But even if you combine their goals scored it would still be less than Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke (29).
Considering these two clubs last met in August, it’s hardly worth digging for any substantive kernel that could indicate how this match shakes out.
Digest this stat though: Forest have grabbed 27 points out of a possible 30 in their last 10 matches, the only loss coming to Luton in April.
Bournemouth, meanwhile got a much-needed win against Blackburn ahead of Tuesday’s home match. A 3-0 away win with goals from Phillip Billing and Solanke is a good momentum builder. The Cherries are 2-3-0 in their previous five.
Bournemouth take on Forest at the Vitality Stadium 7 p.m. BST / 2 p.m. ET.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Good Day, by Seratones
And now for your links:
Alisdair Gold: Emerson urges patience as he continues to learn under Antonio Conte
The Athletic ($$): Conte says he deserves more ‘than just a top-four place’
Fifa fines Senegal after Mo Salah was targeted by dozens of fans’ lasers
Newcastle United Women break attendance record in first St James Park outing
Middlesbrough issue life ban to fan following son’s Riverside pitch invasion
Fulham clinch EFL Championship title with 7-0 win over Luton Town