Chance for Nottingham to get out of the Forest

Bracing for possible points deductions and floundering after a great start under new manager Nuno Espírito Santo, Nottingham Forest takes on a demoralised West Ham tomorrow night (11pm).

Espírito Santo replaced Steve Cooper on Dec 20, winning three of his four opening games and drawing the other. But since then, Forest has not won a match in 90 minutes, losing three times, drawing twice, and in the FA Cup fourth round, needing penalties to defeat Bristol City.

The Hammers were hammered 6-0 by Arsenal last weekend, a team they beat 2-0 in December – the last time they earned three points.

Forest and West Ham desperately need the points, but Forest needs it most as it is now 16th in the English Premier League table with 21 points from 24 games. Luton is a place below, with 20 points, having played 23 matches.

Everton (19), Burnley (13) and Sheffield United (13) are in the relegation zone, with all three playing 24 times.

Last month, Forest was found guilty of breaching the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules and could face a points deduction as punishment. Everton was docked 10 points for breaching the rules in November and faces another charge.

As such, Forest needs to get the points or risk being in a relegation battle, but it could get back to winning ways against the London club.

After a promising start to the season, West Ham has fallen to eight after only collecting three points from its last five league games.

It has 36 points, the same as Newcastle, which is seventh, but five behind Manchester United, and another five behind Aston Villa.

Liverpool leads the standings with 54 points, followed by Manchester City and Arsenal – both on 52, but City has a game in hand. Tottenham is fourth (47).

Liverpool has a midweek game against Luton before facing Chelsea in the League Cup final next Sunday (Feb 25, 11pm).

Chelsea has a week’s break following the postponement of its match against Tottenham on Saturday morning.

FIXTURES (Malaysian time)

Brentford vs Liverpool (8.30pm)
Burnley vs Arsenal (11pm)
Newcastle vs Bournemouth (11pm)
Fulham vs Aston Villa (11pm)
Nottingham Forest vs West Ham (11pm)
Tottenham vs Wolves (11pm)

Manchester City vs Chelsea (1.30am)
Sheffield United vs Brighton (10pm)

Luton vs Manchester United (12.30am)

Everton vs Crystal Palace (4am)

Manchester City vs Brentford (3.30am)

Liverpool vs Luton (3.30am)


Image: Nottingham Forest 

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