Nottingham Forest have been unbeaten in their last four games after a terrible start to the season. Forest sat bottom of the Championship with a single point when Chris Hughton departed as manager last month but are now five places and three points above the relegation zone after a third win in an unbeaten four-match run. Forest lost six of their first seven matches of the season as they failed to get any positive result. Since the arrival of new boss Steve Cooper, Forest have not lost a single game and have won 10 points from four matches. They have also scored eight goals in the process and completed a thumping win over Birmingham City recently.
Let’s take a look at what the stats have to say about their recent performances:
Shot Map for first seven gameweeks
Shot Map for last four gameweeks
The above visuals show us the shot maps for Nottingham Forest before and after the arrival of Steve Cooper. These shots include goals, shots on target and shots that hit the woodwork. The previous image shows us that in the first seven gameweeks of the Championship, Forest failed to attempt more shots on the goal from inside the penalty area. Most of their shots were taken a long way from goal which is why they had a lower xG in their previous games.
But in the second visual, it can be seen that Forest have attempted more shots from inside the penalty area. While they attempted nine shots inside the penalty area from seven games, they have a total of 12 shots on goal inside the penalty area from only four games. With this approach, they have been able to score more amount of goals which is the most important aspect in order to win a game.
Steve Cooper has been lining up his team in a 3-4-2-1 formation in all four of his game in charge so far. Previously, Forest followed a four at the back formation which was not working for them under Chris Hughton. The 3-4-2-1 formation has given Forest more defensive stability and also gives their wing-backs the freedom to move higher up the pitch and contribute to the team’s attack. With their wing-backs playing higher up the pitch, the two attacking midfielders playing behind the striker get the freedom to play in a free role rather than maintaining the same position. This has been most helpful for Zinckernagel, who has been one of Forest’s best players in their four-game unbeaten run. He has been involved in six goals so far this season, scoring twice and has provided four assists to his teammates.
The above viz shows us the pass map for Zinckernagel in his last four games for Forest in the Championship. Zinckernagel is a player who is most efficient in the final third of the pitch as he has the vision to spot runs from his teammates into pockets of spaces. As seen in the above visual, Zinckernagel has a high xT from the passes that he has attempted in the final third and creates a threat for the opposition defence when he is on the ball. He has scored one goal and provided three assists in his last two games.
Zinckernagel has been linking up well with most of his teammates and has a high xT with the passes he has made to the attackers. Zinckernagel has a high xT from his passes to Lewis Grabban, who has scored four goals and is the top scorer for Forest.
Nottingham Forest have been defensively stable since the start of the season and have not been hammered by any team so far. The goals they have conceded were of fine margins and could not be put up as poor defending. Their main concern was they were not able to create more goalscoring opportunities and outscore the opposition team. They are in good form now but will have to keep the momentum going in order to further climb up the table. Nottingham Forest have a tough list of fixtures coming up with most of the teams they are facing are above them in the table.