Morgan Gibbs-White’s 54th-minute goal was enough for Nottingham Forest to secure a big 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at the City Ground on Saturday.
The Tricky Trees will get to spend the World Cup break just one point back of safety and will certainly not be 20th regardless of what happens with Wolves and Arsenal later Saturday.
WATCH NOTTINGHAM FOREST vs CRYSTAL PALACE FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM
Palace, on the other hand, will be very frustrated as Wilfried Zaha plunked the post with a penalty attempt when the match was still scoreless.
The Eagles had 68 percent of the ball but failed to put any of their eight shot attempts on target as Dean Henderson managed a 0-save, 27-touch clean sheet.
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What we learned from Nottingham Forest vs Crystal Palace
Forest may have its strong triangle at the back: Joe Worrall has long been a key piece of this unit but Willy Boly’s a new addition and goalkeeper Dean Henderson was clearly in control of his box at the back. Throw in an odd strong game from Serge Aurier on one side and the recipe for success was there. Remo Freuler looks more comfortable in the center of the park and Morgan Gibbs-White shined in a sort of false-nine role, the ex-Wolves man getting better and better each week.
MGW heating up: Back-to-back games with goals for Morgan Gibbs-White and back-to-back results for Forest? That’s a recipe that could drive Forest’s push for a second Premier League season.
Palace a different animal without ‘French Eddy’: Wilfried Zaha had to play up top with Odsonne Edouard not fit for 90 minutes. He drew a penalty but something was just missing as Eberechi Eze was more advanced and Michael Olise a bit more cautious. That’s not to say that this sort of recipe cannot work for Palace — obviously, it has in the past — but it’s all a bit more straight-forward for a defense then worrying about Eze, Zaha, and Co. wreaking havoc on the wings while Edouard lurks in the dirty areas.
We can’t say enough about how different Palace looks without Odsonne Edouard, or at least what we know Palace can look like with the French center forward in form. Forest boss Steve Cooper will have felt Edouard’s absence was an invitation to attack.
Star of the Show
The World Cup break! Then, Forest goes to Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup’s Round of 16 before visiting Manchester United in Premier League play.
Palace will host Fulham in PL play on Boxing Day.
Morgan Gibbs-White goal video: Trees take the lead
How to watch Nottingham Forest vs Crystal Palace live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel/Stream: Online via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & star players
Jesse Lingard had a goal and an assist in Forest’s midweek League Cup triumph over Spurs, while Ryan Yates has been a mainstay in Forest’s midfield and Dean Henderson a star between the sticks.
Six is the number for Palace, who’s only had six Premier League goal scorers this season but has also gotten six goals out of leading man Wilfried Zaha. Playmakers Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze have become or are becoming stars, depending on your viewpoint, averaging a team-best 2.43 and 1.99 key passes per game this season.
Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Moussa Niakhate (thigh), Giulian Biancone (knee), Harry Toffolo (thigh), Omar Richards (calf), Orel Mangala (suspension).
5️⃣ changes from Wednesday
👊 Worrall and Boly continue in defence
💫 Gibbs-White returns to the attack
Our side to face @CPFC this afternoon! 👇 pic.twitter.com/nkyBIgNcvw
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) November 12, 2022
Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: James McArthur (groin), Chris Richards (thigh), Odsonne Edouard (thigh)
Our starting XI is here 📨
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) November 12, 2022