Saturday afternoon wil see 10th place Nottingham Forest host 21st place Reading at The City Ground in the EFL Championship. Forest are coming off a 1-1 draw away at Sheffield United, and Reading lost their previous game 0-1 against Millwall at home. Were it not for Derby County’s 21 point deduction, Reading would be in the drop zone. In the reverse fixture back in November 2021, the teams played out a 1-1 draw, with Philip Zinckernagel scoring for Forest and Dann netting for Reading.
In their last game, Nottingham Forest drew 1-1 with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Ryan Yates scored a stoppage-time equalizer to snatch two points away from Sheffield United. Nottingham Forest’s record now stands at 14 wins and 10 draws and losses each. Forest are five points off the promotion play-off spots. xGA predicted Nottingham Forest to concede 41 goals till this time of the season, but they have conceded only 34, seven fewer than expected.
Nottingham Forest have rarely missed big chances this season, as seen in the above shot map. Inside the six-yard box, they have scored more often than miss, as every team should. Still, only one Nottingham Forest player has hit double figures this season – Lewis Grabban. Other players need to step up in the goalscoring department if they are to have any hope of making the promotion play-off spots.
Philip Zinckernagel is Nottingham Forest’s most successful threat creator, primarily from corners. But the best creators in the division are creating far more threats for their respective teams. Some players have exceeded 10, whereas Zinckernagel has scored only 6.5 thus far.
Reading lost their last game 0-1 to Millwall at home. It was their second consecutive defeat. Going into this game, Reading have won 10 games, drawn five, and lost 20. Reading should have scored 35 goals till now this season, but they have overachieved by netting 42 goals. However, Reading do have the second-worst defense in the entire league this season, only behind Peterborough United.
As you can see in the above chart, despite overachieving in xG, Reading rank in the bottom half of the league for goals scored. In fact, in the attacking & creativity and passing & progression columns, Reading hover around the average mark in several categories, including goals per 90, assists per 90, xA per 90, and key passes per 90, to name a few.
Nottingham Forest will look to win this game to hopefully get closer to the promotion play-off spots, and Reading must win this game to distance themselves from the relegation zone.