Looking to put their European despair behind them, Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action this weekend when they tackle Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening.
Nothing seems to be going right for Antonio Conte’s troubled Tottenham side. They have suffered three defeats and two cup eliminations in a little over a week.
After succumbing to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Championship side Sheffield United in the FA Cup fifth round, Spurs failed to rectify their aberration as they fell to Wolverhampton Wanderers by the same scoreline.
Conte’s return to the dugout was supposed to add some much-needed inspiration and confidence boost to his side who were trailing 1-0 to AC Milan on aggregate.
However, a drab goalless stalemate in Wednesday’s second leg saw them bow out of the Champions League in what has been a miserable week for the Lilywhites.
With no other avenue for a chance at glory for the silverware-starved Spurs, Conte’s side only have next season’s Champions League football to fight for.
Barely hanging on to fourth place, Tottenham desperately need a win when Forest visit north London or they could be overhauled by Liverpool.
Forest extended their impressive unbeaten home run to nine games with a thrilling 2-2 draw against relegation-threatened Everton last time out.
With Conte’s future up in the air, Forest boss Steve Cooper has since been touted to replace the Italian, but that will not stop the Welshman from plotting the downfall of a troubled Spurs side.
Forest have spent most of their campaign flirting with a return to the Championship. The Tricky Trees are by no means out of the woods yet, but they hold a four-point advantage over 18th-placed Everton with a game in hand thanks to last week’s draw.
Tottenham have failed to win or even score in their last three games and could soon find themselves out of the top five entirely if Liverpool and Newcastle United win their games in hand.
However, their recent home form serves as cause for mild optimism as they have won each of their last three league games in front of their own fans without conceding.
Not since March 2018 have they enjoyed a run of four home wins in a row with clean sheets, when former boss Mauricio Pochettino, whose name was chanted by supporters on Wednesday amid rumours of a sensational return, was in charge.
Spurs have won 28 of their last 31 league home games against promoted sides (D2, L1), which bodes well for their chances against Forest, who they have also beaten three times in a row.
A share of the spoils seems unlikely given that Tottenham are one of two sides yet to draw a league game this year, evenly distributing their ten games between five wins and five defeats.
Only Manchester City (7) and Arsenal (6) have won more league games than Spurs, while only Everton (6) have lost more often.
Talismanic striker Harry Kane has scored three goals in three games against the Tricky Trees in all competitions, including a brace at the City Ground in the reverse fixture this term.
The England captain is only two goals away from netting 20 league goals in a season for the sixth time – only Sergio Aguero (6) and Alan Shearer (7) have achieved that feat.
The draw with Everton extended their winless run in the league to four matches, and that streak could be stretched at the weekend as Forest have won just once away from home in the league all season (D3, L8).
They have also managed a meagre three goals on rival turf – the worst record of any team in the division this term.
Trips to the capital have not been favourable, having lost eight of their last ten league games in London (W1, D1). They have also lost all three such visits this season by an aggregate score of 11-0.
Brennan Johnson will be looking to prove decisive for his side at the weekend after notching seven goal contributions since the turn of the new year (five goals, two assists).
Only Erling Braut Haaland and Marcus Rashford (eight each) have been involved in more this year.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Nottingham Forest Potential Line-ups
Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-3): Fraser Forster; Clement Lenglet, Eric Dier, Ben Davies; Pedro Porro, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp, Ivan Perisic; Dejan Kulusevski, Harry Kane, Arnaut Danjuma.
Nottingham Forest (4-3-3): Keylor Navas; Serge Aurier, Joe Worrall, Felipe, Renan Lodi; Ryan Yates, Remo Freuler, Jonjo Shelvey; Brennan Johnson, Chris Wood, Morgan Gibbs-White.
How to Watch?
Tottenham vs Forest, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Nottingham Forest Prediction
Spurs have had a week to forget, but the importance of returning to winning ways on home turf is not lost on Conte or his players, especially with a Champions League berth still to fight for.
Despite whatever unrest may be brewing in the dressing room, the Lilywhites should recapture their goal-scoring form against a Forest side that have managed just one clean sheet in their last five games.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Nottingham Forest
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