The idea that a change of manager can galvanise a squad is one of football’s many accepted wisdoms and in the case of Nottingham Forest, it couldn’t be more true.
Only three weeks ago, they had seen a return of eight points from their first 11 league games, leaving them languishing in the relegation zone.
Since Steve Cotterill’s arrival from Saturday’s opponents Portsmouth, the Reds have won three of the four games in which he has been in charge, with their only defeat coming last weekend against promotion chasing Hull City.
Their latest victory came against last season’s defeated play-off finalists Reading, moving Forest up to 19th and in the process leapfrogging Portsmouth, who themselves gained an impressive point at in-form Crystal Palace.
Pompey’s form hasn’t been too bad since Cotterill’s departure, winning two and losing two before their stalemate in midweek, and they sit comfortably in the top half of the home league table, suggesting that they won’t go down without a fight.
Given that the majority of Forest’s goals have come in the second half, the draw/Nottingham Forest selection in the half time/full time market looks a good bet, and punters who use their free £25 bet will see a return of £181.25 if they correctly back this outcome.
Both of these teams, as their current league positions would suggest, are two of the lowest scorers in the division, so a high-scoring affair at Fratton Park seems unlikely.
Forest average exactly a goal a game (15) and Portsmouth have fared only slightly better (16). With this in mind, the offer of a Forest win with less than 2.5 combined goals in the game at 5/1 looks very tempting.
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