Tuesday the 3rd of May will see Bournemouth host Nottingham Forest in the EFL Championship as this crucial match is a direct shootout to which team gets automatically promoted and which one has to compete in the play-offs. When these two teams met in August 2021, Bournemouth won 2-1 away at Forest. Coming into this game, Bournemouth won 3-0 away at Blackburn Rovers, and Nottingham Forest thrashed Swansea City 5-1 at home.
Bournemouth come into this important game having won 3-0 away at Blackburn Rovers. Dominic Solanke opened the scoring before Philip Billing netted twice to give the Cherries a big victory. This win now means Bournemouth have won 23 games this season, having drawn 13 and lost eight. The Cherries were expected to ship 45 goals so far this season, but they have ended up conceding six fewer goals.
Above is Bournemouth’s shot map in this season’s EFL Championship, excluding the penalties. Thanks to the performances of Dominic Solanke, Bournemouth have more often than not scored big chances that had an xG of 0.5 or more. He has received adequate support from his teammates, with Billing, Anthony and Lowe netting a combined 25 goals. Bournemouth’s shot conversion rate this season has been 7.68 shots per goal scored.
Jaidon Anthony has been Bournemouth’s most successful threat creator this season from both open play as well as from set-pieces. Hence, it is no surprise seeing him as one of the team’s top assist providers. Bournemouth have been creating most of the threat from both the wings this season. Lloyd Kelly is the Cherries’ second-most successful threat creator this campaign.
Nottingham Forest come into this crucial match having hammered Swansea City 5-1 at home. A hat-trick from Sam Surridge, an own goal from Cyrus Christie, and Alexander Mighten getting one did too much damage to the Swans. This win leaves Forest with a record of 23 wins, 10 draws and 11 losses. Nottingham Forest have netted the joint second-most goals this season alongside Bournemouth. Forest have overperformed on their xG by seven goals.
Given in the above visual are the attacking performances of Nottingham Forest relative to the rest of the league. The only category where Forest do not rank in the top half is shot accuracy, with only 31% of their shots hitting the target. Still, the sheer volume of shots taken by them compensates for that.
This match is a must-= win for both the teams as it decides their promotion fates. A Bournemouth win will ensure the Cherries get automatically promoted at the expense of Nottingham Forest. If the match ends in a draw, then this battle will be decided on the final matchday. Should Nottingham Forest win this clash, they will surpass Bournemouth on the points table and take the second spot as they have a superior goal difference.