UEFA Champions League

Nottingham Forest-Crystal Palace Preview

Having led Crystal Palace to safety in comfortable fashion on his return to the Selhurst Park dugout, Roy Hodgson wants to see the Eagles finish the campaign on a high note against Nottingham Forest.

Palace were embroiled in a battle for survival when Hodgson replaced Patrick Vieira in March, but the former England boss has overseen five wins from nine games to drag them away from danger.

With both Palace and their final-day opponents Forest able to look forward to another top-flight campaign, Hodgson is desperate to avoid an underwhelming end to the season.

"I will look back on this time, working here with this group of players, with a lot of satisfaction in the end," Hodgson said.

"It has given us a lot of good moments in games when we have played well and got rewarded for playing well.

"We have got satisfaction as a coaching staff from the way the team has played.

"We have got satisfaction from the way the team has worked both on and off the training field and in matches, and it leaves a very warm glow going into the last game.

"I would like the boys to do well on Sunday and finish off in the best way possible and not finish on a bit of a damp squib."

Forest secured safety with a game to spare with a memorable win over Arsenal last Saturday, but with an opportunity to improve on their current position of 16th, Steve Cooper is not treating Sunday's match as a dead rubber.

"We really want to end the season well," he said. "There's not as much scrutiny as last week of course, but we still want to play well for our supporters.

"We want to win every game we play, and there may also be an opportunity to improve the league position even more. When that's the case, you should always strive to do that."

Crystal Palace - Michael Olise

Olise has recorded 10 assists in the Premier League this term, a figure only bettered by Kevin De Bruyne (16), Mohamed Salah and Bukayo Saka (10 apiece). The tricky attacking midfielder has also created a team-high 65 chances for Palace this season, at least 10 more than any of his team-mates (Eberechi Eze is second with 55).

Nottingham Forest - Morgan Gibbs-White

Only Bournemouth (15) have conceded more headed goals than Crystal Palace (14) in the Premier League this season, with the Eagles only shipping more in a single campaign in 1994-95 (16). Given the hosts' vulnerability in the air, Gibbs-White - who has seven Premier League assists this term and has created 14 chances from set-pieces - could have a decisive impact from dead balls.

Crystal Palace have won just one of their last nine home league games against Nottingham Forest (D4 L4). This is the first time they're hosting them since September 2012 (a 1-1 draw), and the first time in the Premier League since April 1995 (1-2).

However, Palace have never lost their final league match of a top-flight season when finishing the campaign with a home game, winning seven and drawing three of their 10 such matches.

Palace have lost just one of their last nine Premier League home games (W3 D5) and are unbeaten in four since Hodgson's return (W3 D1) - the Selhurst Park crowd will expect a positive finish.

Crystal Palace - 44.8%

Nottingham Forest - 26.1%

Draw - 29.1%

Updated May 27, 2023

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