Nottingham Forest have had quite the turnaround in the 2021-22 EFL Championship season. In September, Forest were at the bottom of the table when they sacked Chris Houghton and brought in Steve Cooper. Now, they are just one win away from being promoted to the Premier League. In this article, we will explore how the Nottinghamshire-based outfit performed this season, who are now on the cusp of making history.
Nottingham Forest finished fourth on the regular-season points table in the 2021-22 EFL Championship. In fact, Forest were just two consecutive wins from the automatic promotion, but they lost against Bournemouth in their penultimate game of the regular season, meaning they had to compete in the playoffs. In the semi-finals, they needed a penalty shootout in the second leg to get past Sheffield United. Nottingham Forest have conceded 43 goals in 48 games, including the playoffs, which is 14 fewer than what xGA predicted.
Given above is the shot map of Nottingham Forest in this EFL Championship season, excluding the penalties. The Welshman, Brennan Johnson, is the leading goalscorer for Forest, with 18 strikes to his name, followed by Lewis Grabban, who has 12. Both of them have overperformed on their xG this season. Overall, Nottingham Forest have attempted 567 shots and scored 71 goals, giving them a conversion rate of nearly eight shots per goal scored.
Midfielder Philip Zinckernagel is Nottingham Forest’s most successful threat creator in this season of the EFL Championship, but most of his threat has come from set-pieces. From open play, it is Scott McKenna who has produced the most threat for Forest. However, Johnson has the most assists in the squad, with 10 to his name. In second place is Manchester United loanee James Garner, with eight.
The above visual shows the performances of Nottingham Forest in the attacking department this season. They have scored the second-most goals, have the fourth highest xG, fifth-highest shot attempts and attempted the most dribbles. 31% of their attempted shots find the target, which ranks in the bottom half. But due to their overperforming defence, Forest have successfully managed to mask this. They have also made the fifth-most touches in their opponents’ penalty area.
Nottingham Forest have made a tremendous recovery after their disastrous start to the season. Now, they are only one victory away from returning to the Premier League since 1999. According to most bookmakers, they are the slight favourites to win against Huddersfield Town at Wembley on 29th May 2022.