Betting preview: West Brom vs Nottingham Forest – Baggies to reinvigorate promotion push

With the gap between West Brom and the top two steadily widening, pressure is beginning to mount on the Baggies. Can Forest add to their problems or will the hosts reign supreme this Friday night?

Despite marking their return from the international break with a 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield and a 0-0 draw at Blackpool, manager Valerien Ismael believes his side are moving in the right direction.

One team which has already moved in that direction is Nottingham Forest and they arrive in Birmingham looking to move within four points of the play-offs.

When, where and how to watch

When: Friday, November 26, 20.00 GMT

Where: The Hawthorns

How to watch: Sky Sports

Follow this game live via our score centre

Best bets for West Brom vs Nottingham Forest

West Brom to win and both teams to score - WAS 13/5, NOW 3/1

Over 2.5 goals at 20/21

One goal match winning margin at 7/5

Valerien Ismael first made his name at Barnsley where the 46-year-old had the benefit of managing at a club with minimal expectations. The Frenchman went quietly about his business and took one of Championship's relegation favourites all the way to the play-offs.

That, however, is not the case with West Brom. With the club targeting promotion, there's little room for error - even with the rigours of the Championship taken into account.

At the moment, Ismael looks like a man under pressure - a point made evident by one of his recent post-match comments in which he said: "You can lose games. It doesn't mean everything is s***."

West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael celebrates after the final whistle during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich.

The Baggies boss is right though. Not everything is bad.

West Brom may only have one point from five away games but at the same time, they're yet to lose a single league match at The Hawthorns.

With four home wins from five under their belt, it's hard to look past West Brom in the betting ahead of Friday's game - even if Forest are likely to make this a close contest.

The East Midlands outfit have turned a corner under Steve Cooper but with only one win from six to their name, our opening selection is to stick with the hosts.

Last three meetings

West Brom 2-2 Nottingham Forest (Championship - February 15, 2020)

In a back-and-forth game, it was the hosts who opened the scoring courtesy of Callum Robinson.

An own goal from Kyle Bartley levelled the score just before the break but Nottingham reciprocated with an own goal of their own.

Tobias Figueiredo put the ball in his own net before Poland's Matty Cash rescued a late point for the visitors.

Nottingham Forest 1-2 West Brom (Championship - August 3, 2019)

On their last meeting at the City Ground, it was West Brom who reigned supreme.

Cash opened the scoring for the hosts before two quickfire efforts from Kyle Edwards and Matt Phillips sealed all three points for the Baggies.

West Brom 2-2 Nottingham Forest (Championship - February 12, 2019)

A few months earlier, it was Nottingham who seemed on track for victory until a late equaliser dashed their plans.

A Stefan Johansen own goal put Forest ahead before Jacob Murphy levelled things up in the second half.

With 65 minutes on the clock, the visitors took the lead through Ryan Yates. However, with Forest poised to celebrate the win, Jay Rodriguez converted a late penalty to bag a draw.

Last 10 head-to-heads

West Brom wins: 4

Draws: 3

Nottingham Forest wins: 3

West Brom goals: 13

Nottingham Forest goals: 12

A fixture that delivers

One of the key worries for both Nottingham Forest and West Brom is their recent effectiveness in front of goal.

Over the last six games, Forest are averaging a mere goal a game. That's still better than the Baggies who have only netted twice in five league outings. In fact, Ismael's side have produced 45 shots without scoring over their last two games alone.

Despite those dire numbers, past head-to-head encounters suggest that we could be in for an entertaining night at The Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion's Taylor Gardner-Hickman (right) controls the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich.

This is a fixture which has produced 17 goals across five games - all five seeing the both teams to score bet land.

Both these teams have shown a lot of attacking intent lately and a Friday night clash in front of the Sky cameras seems like the perfect opportunity to get their goalscoring juices flowing again.

With that in mind, our second selection is to back over 2.5 goals.

Another close game in prospect

With West Brom sitting third in the table and Nottingham Forest improving under Cooper, a close game is expected.

One goal has been the margin in five of West Brom's last nine Championship games, while Forest have drawn four of their last five.

Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba (left) celebrates after saving a penalty from Luton Town's Elijah Adebayo (not pictured) during the Sky Bet Championship match at the City Ground, Nottingham.

Previous head-to-head encounters have also been closely contested with three from four games ending in draws.

With form and previous results taken into account, we're backing the match to be decided by a one-goal margin.

Goalscorer bets for West Brom vs Nottingham Forest 

West Bromwich Albion's Karlan Grant (right) celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Hawthorns

One of the most popular selections in the goalscorer market is likely to be West Brom's Karlan Grant.

The 23-year-old has scored eight goals this season and is the club's top scorer.

The player is currently in the midst of a three-match dry spell but at 6/5, the bookmakers are clearly aware of his threat.

With regards to Forest, it's Lewis Grabban who leads the betting.

The 33-year-old has also scored eight goals this season - including a brace against Preston just prior to the international break.

READ MORE: Bookies trim Manchester City’s Champions League odds after PSG win

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