Sports Betting Weekly

Nottingham Forest v Wolverhampton Wanderers

When: Friday, 03 April 2015 @ 21:00 (FINISHED)
Where: The City Ground
Nottingham Forest have reached the do-or-die stage of their season following defeat to Norwich last weekend, with the Reds now realistically needing to win six out of their last seven games to gatecrash the top-six.

Such a scenario is far from an attractive proposition for Dougie Freedman’s men – especially given the incredibly tricky fixtures they have coming up, including the visit of Wolves’ to The City Ground on Friday – but really, he should be credited from keeping Forest in the division to begin with.

The fact the Reds are even in this position at all is incredible. Following a run of just three wins in 23 games – with some 12 losses thrown in for good measure – Forest were just seven points above the drop with the teams below them coming up next in their fixture list when they sacked Stuart Pearce.

Since Freedman’s arrival, however, their fortunes have changed dramatically. Seven wins from 11 and just two defeats have put the Reds some 22 points above the relegation zone, and they are still in with an outside shout of finishing sixth.

What they would give to be in Wolves’ league position – two points off sixth before this weekend’s fixtures – as Kenny Jackett’s side look to secure back-to-back promotions to make up for the back-to-back relegations in what has been a rollercoaster ride at Molineux over the last four years.

Wolves also seem to have picked up form at just the right time – or at least they would have done had the international break not halted their recent momentum. Jackett’s side are now unbeaten in four and have won their last two games, against Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County.

Their win over Derby had added significance as Wolves cut the Rams’ advantage over them to just two points – something that was also great news for Brentford and Ipswich, as it meant that fifth place is now well and truly up for grabs.

For Forest, meanwhile, the prospect of overtaking Derby – which seemed utterly ridiculous at the start of February when they were 20 points behind their East Midlands rivals – is now an outside possibility, and Rams fans are glancing nervously over their shoulders as Freedman’s men continue to march up the table.

In order to keep up the pressure, Forest need a win here – but that will not be easy. The market is tipping a Wolves victory at 2/1, with the hosts seen as underdogs in their own backyard at 6/4 and the draw priced at 12/5. It would be one of football’s little quirks of fate if former Forest target, Bakary Sako, were to find the net and kill off any remaining play-off hopes the Reds might have this season – and he is 9/1 to open the scoring or 3/1 to score anytime.

As for Forest, Michail Antonio will be the man to watch, with 13 goals and 11 assists in his first season on Trentside. He is 10/1 to score first and 15/4 to beat the Wolves goalkeeper at any point.