Match Previews

Forest team news: Welbeck fit, Buonanotte to start

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Roberto De Zerbi has confirmed Argentinian will get his first Premier League start.

By Charlie Hanson • 25 April 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Facundo Buonanotte will play against Nottingham Forest.

Albion will look to bounce back from Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final defeat when they take on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Wednesday, kick-off 7.30pm.

Despite the Wembley disappointment, Albion still have plenty to play for as they target European football for the first time. Hopes of a top-six finish were lifted by a 2-1 win over Chelsea last time out and, while we sit eighth, we have more games left to play than any other Premier League team.


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PL Highlights: Chelsea 1 Albion 2

Having not lost to a team currently in the bottom half of the table, Albion could climb to sixth depending on other results this week.

It would also take us up to 52 points, one more than our best return in our top-flight history which we achieved last season.

Forest are battling for their top-tier status. Although they are currently 19th, a win on Wednesday could not only lift them out of the bottom three but up to 16th.

The form table doesn’t make good reading for Steve Cooper’s team though. Without a win since the beginning of February and on a four-game losing run, time is running out for Forest to secure their Premier League future.

Team news

By Paul Hazlewood
Danny Welbeck is fit to face Forest, despite needing treatment in Sunday's semi-final.

Speaking in his press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Roberto De Zerbi said, "It’s too early to pick the first XI, we will see tomorrow. But there aren’t big problems. For Welbeck there isn’t a problem for tomorrow. For Ferguson, I don’t want to take any risks with him. We have another nine games and he will be important for the last eight if there is no risk.

"Facundo Buonanotte will play from the first minute, I give you this news, so you’re happy. I am trying to understand the right moment to put the right player on the pitch, because sometimes it’s better to wait, sometimes you have a doubt and to understand before, the difficulty of my work is to decide."

Our last meeting


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PL Highlights: Albion 0 Nottingham Forest 0

Albion enjoyed over 70% possession and mustered 19 shots while Forest finished the evening without a shot on target back in October at the Amex but Roberto De Zerbi’s team had to settle for a point from a 0-0 draw.

Match stats

Nottingham Forest have won just one of their last seven home league games against Brighton (D4 L2), though this win did come the last time they hosted the Seagulls in March 2017 (3-0).

After winning their first two top-flight games against Nottingham Forest in 1979-80, Brighton are winless in their last seven such meetings (D2 L5), with the only Premier League game between the sides ending 0-0 in October.

After a nine-game unbeaten home run between October and March in the Premier League (W4 D5), Nottingham Forest have lost two of their last three at the City Ground (D1).

Brighton have alternated between winning (4) and not winning (D2 L1) in their last seven Premier League games, beating Chelsea 2-1 last time out. Despite pushing for a European spot, the Seagulls have only won consecutive league games three times this season (August, November and January).

Brighton have won their last three midweek Premier League matches, as many as they had in their previous 31 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (D12 L16).

Since the start of October 2022, when Roberto De Zerbi took charge of Brighton, only Manchester City (63.6%) have averaged more possession than the Seagulls (62.5%) in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest (37.5%) have the lowest possession average in this same period.

Since keeping a clean sheet on his Premier League debut (v Leeds in February), Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Keylor Navas has conceded in each of his last 11 games, at an average of 2.2 per match (24 in total). Only once in his career within the big-five European leagues has he had a longer run of appearances without a clean sheet – 13 for Real Madrid between February and May 2017.

Brighton's Solly March has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last 15 Premier League games, scoring seven and assisting five. Overall, he's had a hand in 14 Premier League goals in 29 games this season (7 goals, 7 assists), as many as he had in his first five campaigns combined (142 games – 4 goals, 10 assists).

Brennan Johnson has scored six of Nottingham Forest’s last eight Premier League goals at the City Ground, while seven of his eight Premier League goals overall have come at home. Among players with more than five goals in the competition in 2022-23, only Roberto Firmino (89%) has a higher share of his goals coming at home than Johnson (88%).

Brighton defender Lewis Dunk leads all centre backs in the Premier League this season for completed passes (2,257), carries (602), and involvement in open play sequences that have ended in a shot (97). 

Match officials

Referee: Jarred Gillett.

Assistants: Lee Betts, Richard West.

Fourth official: Anthony Taylor.

VAR: Robert Jones.

Assistant VAR: Adam Nunn.