Two of the Championship’s meanest defences meet at the City Ground this evening as the play-offs for the Premier League get underway.
Nottingham Forest have conceded just 50 goals this season at an average of 1.09 a match, making theirs the league’s fifth-best defence.
Meanwhile, their opponents Swansea have conceded 42 goals in 46 games at an average of 0.91, meaning only QPR shipped fewer in this season’s Championship.
With this in mind, a low-scoring game would appear likely, with a 1-1 draw available at 23/4 at bwin.com.
However, this would ignore the fact that Forest’s attack has been firing on all cylinders towards the end of the season, with 14 goals scored in the final four league games in a sequence which brought them a maximum 12 points.
When coupled with Swansea’s poor away form – the Welsh side have lost 11 times on the road this season – then it is easy to see why Forest are 5/4 favourites to take a first-leg lead with them to the Liberty Stadium on Monday, May 16th.
Indeed, the last time the Swans travelled to Nottingham they suffered a 3-1 reverse at the hands of the Tricky Trees.
A successful £10 bet on Nottingham Forest to repeat this result from September and beat Swansea 3-1 would return £185.
Should Forest establish a two-goal lead in the first leg, they will be heavy favourites to make it all the way to Wembley and, potentially, put an end to the play-off heartache which has plagued them in recent seasons.
Since the turn of the millennium, Forest have taken part in three play-offs – in 2003, 2007 and 2010 – and have lost at the semi-final stage in each of them.
Forest manager Billy Davies, himself a serial play-off loser, will be hoping to make it fourth-time lucky.
A successful £10 bet on Nottingham Forest to win the play-offs would return £40 with bwin.com’s odds of 3/1. New customers can register here to receive a £25 free bet.