clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nottingham Forest vs. Tottenham Hotspur Preview: All is right again

The result finally matched the performance!

Tottenham Hotspur v Nottingham Forest - Premier League Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

After a five-match stretch of some positives, but also many frustrations, Tottenham Hotspur recorded its first win since October in emphatic fashion, dominating Newcastle United. While it still feels a bit like playing with house money given the key injuries and newness of a first-year manager, Spurs are keeping themselves in the hunt for a strong season.

The mantra will be the same for the rest of December, as Ange Postecoglou makes the most of his available options while continuing to drastically change the style and tenor of the squad. In a season of streaks, perhaps Sunday was the start of the next string of productive outcomes, which feels overdue.

Tottenham gets the honor of yet another weekday match, heading to Nottingham Forest on Friday. Forest sits just outside the relegation zone and has lost four of its last five matches, having just three victories on the season (though comically two of those are against Chelsea and red hot Villa).

Obviously, these are three points Spurs can and must take. With Everton, Brighton, and Bournemouth left to close out the calendar, there is a great chance to end the year on a strong note, well within the top four race. Forest is possibly the weakest of this bunch, so Friday is no time for a letdown after Newcastle.

Nottingham Forest (16th, 14pts) vs. Tottenham Hotspur (5th, 30pts)

Date: Friday, December 15
Time: 3:00 pm ET, 8:00 pm UK
Location: The City Ground, Nottingham
TV: USA Network (USA), Sky Sports Main Event (UK)

Forest finished 16th last season and is right back there again. Last year’s squad — which Tottenham beat twice (though lost to in the League Cup...) — was mediocre all over, but this year’s edition is slightly better defensively, sitting 14th in goals allowed and 11th in xGA. However, Forest has allowed 13 goals over the past five fixtures (while only scoring five themselves).

This is again a match that should see Spurs enjoy plenty of possession. Opponents are getting shots and looks on target, and it will likely come down to how well the visitors can break down a low block. This Forest side is imperfect, as again there were approximately 600 summer signings, but the defense has been coordinated enough to cause some problems.

Lilywhite Spotlight: Fullbacks, former and current

If there is one position that has truly thrived under Postecoglou, it has to be the fullbacks. After a rocky start for Pedro Porro last spring, the right back has started every single match since Matchweek 2 and continues to impress on both ends of the pitch, including four assists over the past four weeks. Meanwhile, Destiny Udogie is on the track to stardom and notched his first goal of the season on Sunday.

As good as these two have been, a shoutout is due to Ben Davies as well, who has filled in admirably for Micky van de Ven, showing his versatility and usefulness in this squad. While the Spurs defense has not been perfect, it is lightyears from last year’s unit that allowed the sixth-most goals in the league.