A clash between two teams still finding their feet in the Premier League takes place on Sunday as Nottingham Forest host Brentford. Both clubs have endured disappointing starts and desperately need points to kickstart their seasons.

Forest remain winless after a chastening 4-0 thrashing by Manchester City last time out. Meanwhile, Brentford suffered a surprise 3-1 home defeat to Everton which exposed uncharacteristic vulnerability.

With the pressure mounting, this match at the City Ground provides a prime opportunity for either side to rediscover confidence and momentum with a precious victory.

Nottingham Forest vs Brentford 

The match will take place on Sunday, 1st October, 2023, at The City Ground

Forest Struggle in Damage Limitation Exercise

Facing the Premier League's most in-form attack, boss Steve Cooper set Forest up to contain and limit the damage against City's armada. For a while, it worked.

Ultra-Cautious Approach

Lining up with a flat back five and four midfielders, Forest simply aimed to restrict space for City's multitude of threats. They sat deep and offered no attacking outlet.

Cut Apart All Too Easily

Despite flooded defense, Forest couldn't handle City's incisive passing, clever movement and speed on the break. Foden and Haaland clinically exposed gaps.

Fighting Spirit Emerges

Once Rodri was dismissed and the game became feisty, Forest showed more aggression and positivity. However, City's quality at the back shone through.

Belated Attempts to Attack

Cooper did introduce more attacking options like Hudson-Odoi and Elanga after the hour mark. But City dealt comfortably with Forest's late, if limited, attempts to apply pressure.

A Valuable Lesson

This chastening defeat should teach Forest that ultra-cautious, reactive tactics won't suffice every week. a braver, front-foot approach is needed sometimes.

While Forest's defensive resolve kept the scoreline respectable, this lopsided affair showed the size of the challenge facing Cooper's side if they are to survive.

Forest's Cautious, Pragmatic Style

Manager Steve Cooper has Forest well-drilled and organized out of possession. They defend deep in numbers and play on the counter.

Physical strikers Awoniyi and Dennis spearhead their direct attacks. The pace of wingers Johnson and Gibbs-White also give Forrest outlets to transition quickly.

Midfield disruptors Danilo and Mangala allow Forest to compete physically in engine room battles. Staying compact and frustrating opponents is the aim.

Forest Have Completely Overhauled Their Squad 

Forest have totally revamped their squad over the summer after going up from the Championship under manager Steve Cooper. 

The Welsh gaffer has brought in a whopping 12 new signings as he tries to build a side that can cut it in the Premier League.

Cooper came to Forest last September when they were stuck at the bottom of the second tier. 

The old Swansea boss turned their fortunes right around and guided them all the way to promotion through the playoffs. 

Now he's got the tough task of working his magic again to make sure Forest's stay in the top flight isn't a short one.

Brentford Succumb in Unfamiliar Fashion

Brentford's bright start to the season stalled with this disjointed home defeat. Injuries have disrupted their rhythm but sloppiness was also a factor.

Unfamiliar Disarray in Defense

With first choice fullbacks Henry and Hickey injured, a makeshift backline was breached far too easily for the opening goal via a straightforward long ball.

Open Midfield Overrun

Usually so combative through the middle, Brentford's central pairing of Janelt and Jensen couldn't gain any control against Everton's physical power. Gaps appeared.

Lack of Cutting Edge

Even with Toney absent, Brentford would expect to create more than the two chances they mustered all game. Their attacking play lacked cleverness and precision.

Set Piece Threat Blunted

Despite the aerial prowess of Pinnock and Mee, Brentford strangely struggled to capitalize from dead ball situations. Everton handled these comfortably.

Changes Backfire

Frank's switch to a back three for the second half gave Brentford flexibility but it promptly backfired as more space opened up for Everton to exploit.

Energy Levels Drop

Whether through disrupted preparation or sheer fatigue, Brentford lacked their usual high-octane pressing and dynamic off-ball running. Everton's extra hunger showed.

Off Night for Bees

Brentford were simply well below their best in this limp home display. But Frank will know his side's effective system remains stronger than any individual.

Despite the demoralizing defeat, Brentford should regain their identity once injured players return and sharpness increases. A blip rather than a trend.

Brentford's Slick Passing Approach

Despite a poor last outing, Brentford typically moved the ball smoothly through the thirds using clever passing sequences and movement. Technical midfielder Janelt is the tempo-setter from deep areas.

Injuries have forced constant changes but Brentford's principles remain the same. Overlapping fullbacks and crisp interplay create openings inside the box for clinical finishers like Toney.

Out of possession, Brentford used coordinated pressing and counterpressing to win back the ball high up the pitch. Regaining their identity is key after an off-night last match.

Predicted Lineups

Forest: Matt Turner, Scott McKenna, Moussa Niakhaté, Felipe, Anthony Elanga, Danilo, Remo Freuler, Neco Williams, Morgan Gibbs-White, Taiwo Awoniyi, Brennan Johnson

Brentford: Mark Flekken, Rico Henry, Nathan Collins, Ethan Pinnock, Aaron Hickey, Vitaly Janelt, Christian Nörgaard, Mathias Jensen, Yoane Wissa, Kevin Schade, Bryan Mbeumo

Key Battles

Taiwo Awoniyi vs Ethan Pinnock

Battling center forward Awoniyi will try to rough up Pinnock and breach Brentford's unsettled backline. But Pinnock's aerial prowess makes him well-equipped to deal with Awoniyi's physical threat.

Morgan Gibbs-White vs Vitaly Janelt

Creative midfielder Gibbs-White looks to pull the strings for Forest. He faces a tough matchup against the tenacious pressing and tackling of Brentford enforcer Janelt. Winning this duel is vital.

Brennan Johnson vs Rico Henry

Rapid winger Johnson provides Forest's main pace and flair on the flanks. At left-back Henry will aim to use his recovery speed and strength to neutralize Johnson's dribbling.


The new attacking recruits can hopefully link up with creative sparks to get Forest firing. More goals will be crucial for Cooper's men to pull away from the drop zone and retain their Premier League status.

Brentford fans will be praying for Toney and Wissa to have the desired impact and boost their survival mission.