There is one match left in the Sky Bet Championship season before the final day of the campaign and it could scarcely be bigger as second placed AFC Bournemouth host third placed Nottingham Forest at the Vitality Stadium on Tuesday night.
A place in the Premier League next term is on the line here and if Bournemouth win the game it will be theirs. A draw will see them needing a point to be promoted on Saturday while were Forest to win it will be them in control of their own destiny on the final day.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels with the build-up beginning at 6.30pm and a slightly different to usual kick off time of 7pm.
The Cherries have been in and around the automatic promotion places throughout the season and while they have flirted with allowing other teams into those positions and different times of the campaign they haven’t yet done so other than to Blackburn who had played a raft of matches more than them at the time. That record is under threat here should they lose the match. Having been in the position they have been in they will be eager not to slip up now.
The problem with that is they could get stuck between protecting the position they have got or pushing on and making sure they achieve promotion here. With another home game on Saturday a draw is certainly not a bad result for Bournemouth but a defeat would be. Bournemouth go into this match unbeaten in six matches but they have drawn four of those which has put them in the slightly precarious spot they are in.
Unless you have been living in a cave or have nothing to do with social media you will be well aware that Nottingham Forest were bottom of the table and going nowhere when Steve Cooper took over earlier in the season. They have flown up the table under him and are now on the verge of a place in the top two for the first time this term. A win here would do it and would mean that they would head to Hull on Saturday knowing another victory will return them to the Premier League.
We have seen all season that Forest can take on any challenge. This is a team who have dumped Arsenal and Leicester City out of the FA Cup before running Liverpool close, while just last week they went to Fulham and won. Forest have lost just one of their last 15 in the league which was at Luton on Good Friday which isn’t a terrible result. You get the feeling that the momentum is with the Tricky Trees heading into this one.
Open up a Betfair account and bet £10 on football on the Sportsbook at any time in May to get £40 in FREE BETS! Click the image below for this fantastic offer! New accounts only. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Responsibly.
Jordan Zemura returned to action for AFC Bournemouth on Saturday and is expected to retain his place here. Robbie Brady is available should he be called upon while Scott Parker has reported no fresh injury concerns.
Nottingham Forest announced recently that Keinan Davis was to miss the remainder of the season while Lewis Grabban has been injured as well. Steve Cooper could begin this match with an unchanged side from the 5-1 win over Swansea on Saturday.
You get the impression that Nottingham Forest will be looking forward to this match a lot more than AFC Bournemouth will be. While Bournemouth have things in their own destiny, slowly but surely they have allowed teams to catch up with them and might pay the price for allowing Forest to hang around for so long here. Bournemouth are only good enough to be the ninth best home team this season, albeit with two matches still to play, and have won just 11 of their 21 on home soil which includes recent draws against relegated Peterborough United and not much better Reading.
Nottingham Forest aren’t just winning matches, they are starting to score a number of goals. I’ve mentioned in the past that they have the most feared right side in the league and I think you can get at Bournemouth down their left side so that is a matchup which certainly doesn’t favour the home side here. I just get the impression Bournemouth have been defending their position for so long that I’m not sure they’ll be able to attack the situation now. Forest are flying and if there is a winner here I fancy it to be them.
Back Nottingham Forest to beat AFC Bournemouth (DNB) for a 3/10 stake at 2.30 with William Hill
Back them here: