Match Previews

Nottingham Forest team news: Igor faces fitness check

Albion return to Premier League action at the Amex on Sunday.

By Bruce Talbot • 09 March 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Igor will need a fitness check ahead of Sunday's game against Nottingham Forest.

Albion return to the Amex tomorrow looking to complete a Premier League double over Nottingham Forest, having beaten them 3-2 back in November.

Team news

At his pre-match press conference on Saturday, head coach Roberto De Zerbi said, "We have to make a check on Sunday morning on Igor (kick) then we have to analyse Danny Welbeck, Julio Enciso, Tariq Lamptey because they might not be able to play in the first eleven after Thursday. Maybe they can play in the second half or part of game. 

"Joao Pedro and James Milner I hope will be back after the international break."

Billy Gilmour misses the third match of his three-match domestic suspension tomorrow. 

Our last meeting

Albion won a thriller 3-2 at the City Ground earlier in the season despite going behind after three minutes to a goal from Anthony Elanga. Evan Ferguson scored the equaliser before Pedro struck twice either side of the break. Lewis Dunk was sent off and Morgan Gibbs-White got one back for Forest but Albion clung on and De Zerbi ran across the pitch at full-time to celebrate with Albion’s fans.


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PL Highlights: Nottingham Forest 2 Brighton 3

Player to watch

Gibbs-White scored one of his three Premier League goals in the defeat to Albion in November and has made 28 League appearances and 109 across his top-flight career, which included four seasons with Wolves before he joined Forest in 2022 for what was then a club record fee of £25m.

In 109 Premier League appearances the midfielder has contributed nine goals and 17 assists, and he has represented England at every age group from under-16 to under-21.

Stats and facts

After their 3-2 win at the City Ground in November, Brighton are looking to complete a league double over Nottingham Forest for a third time, after 1979-80 (top-flight) and 2015-16 (Championship).

Forest have failed to score in each of their last three league visits to Brighton (D1 L2) since winning 3-2 in the Championship in 2014-15 under Dougie Freedman.

Albion have kept just three clean sheets in their last 31 Premier League matches and have lost two games by 3+ goals already in 2024 (4-0 vs Luton, 3-0 vs Fulham), only one fewer than they did in the entirety of 2023 (3).

Nottingham Forest have lost 11 of their last 16 Premier League matches (W3 D2); since the start of this run (November 12th), only Brentford have suffered more defeats (12).

Albion are unbeaten in 11 Premier League home games (W5 D6), their longest ever top-flight run without defeat at home. In any division, it’s their longest home league unbeaten spell since going 14 without defeat in their promotion-winning 2016-17 Championship campaign from September to February that term.

Since the start of last season, no Premier League team has lost more games to a 90th-minute winning goal than Nottingham Forest (4, level with Crystal Palace and Man Utd), with Darwin Núñez’s goal for Liverpool last time out the fourth-latest winning goal Opta has on record in the division since 2006-07 (98:37).

Albion completed 660 passes in their 3-0 defeat away at Fulham last time out. Since 2003-04, they were only the third side to complete that many but lose by a margin of 3+ goals in a Premier League game, along with Chelsea vs Sheffield United in July 2020 (712, lost 3-0) and Fulham vs Newcastle in May 2019 (690, lost 4-0).

Only Spurs (4) and Luton (0) have given fewer Premier League minutes to teenage players this season than Nottingham Forest (8). Conversely, Brighton have awarded more minutes to teenagers than anyone else (3,749), with those the most by a side in a season since Southampton in 2013-14 (6,627). A teenager has appeared in their last 52 matches, with only Everton (69 between 1997 and 1999) and Arsenal (103 between 2004 and 2007) having longer runs of consecutive matches featuring a teenager.

Among the 123 managers to take charge of 50+ Premier League matches, Roberto De Zerbi has the highest overall goals-per-game ratio of any of them (3.42, 202 in 59 matches). By comparison, Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espírito Santo ranks 99th in this list (2.49 per game).

Of players to play at least 500 minutes in the Premier League this season, three of the four players with the most successful passes per 90 minutes are Brighton defenders Lewis Dunk (98.7, 2nd), Jan Paul van Hecke (90.5, 3rd), and Adam Webster (88.9, 4th).

Match officials

Referee: Michael Salisbury

Assistant referees: Matthew Wilkes, Derek Eaton

Fourth official: Robert Jones

VAR: Craig Pawson