Nottingham Forest have the advantage going into the return leg of their promotion playoff match against Sheffield United. Playing away at Sheffield, Forest bagged a crucial 2-1 win though they’ll be gutted at having conceded late in the game when they seemed to be coasting to a 2-0 win. Having finished the regular season with two winless away matches, Nottingham would have felt jitters starting this tie away from home. It however worked out just fine as Jack Colback and Brennan Johnson gave them a 2-0 lead before Sander Berge scored in stoppage time. The hosts’ big worry going into the return leg however, will be the fact that they have no clean sheet in the last four matches. Having failed to score in just two of their last 10 games will come with some reprieve though. Home form is another big stat that would give Nottingham Forest hopes of getting a slot in the final. They have four straight wins at home and scored two or more goals in each of the last 10 Championship matches at home.
Sheffield United have a tough task here, and the numbers in Nottingham’s scoring form at home will not help. Perhaps Sheffield can bank on the fact that Nottingham haven’t kept a lot of clean sheets lately, but they have to do more on their part. Sheffield have three wins in their last four matches, with two clean sheets – one against the Championship winners, Fulham. Each of their last three matches has produced over 2.5 goals and they have scored in all of their last five matches. They need a win here to keep their promotion hopes alive but they also have to defend well against one of the best attacking sides. In the last five matches, Sheffield have managed just two clean sheets, while their away run hasn’t been very impressive. In their last seven away matches, they’ve managed just one win, and that came on the final day of the regular season, against QPR. They’ve failed to score in four of those seven away games.
Sheffield United haven’t beaten Nottingham Forest in the last three meetings. This time they have to win to be able to keep their dream of an immediate return to the Premier League alive. Nottingham’s biggest quality is in their attack, and they’ve done well at home in this department. Sheffield, on the other hand, haven’t really been great on their travels, and the task here seems too big for them. Back Nottingham to win this as well.