Premier League

Nottingham Forest-Manchester City Preview

Pep Guardiola believes there is room for improvement for Erling Haaland as Manchester City prepare to face Nottingham Forest.

Haaland is the Premier League's leading scorer this season with six goals in his first four games in the competition.

A hat-trick in Saturday's comeback win over Crystal Palace showed just how devastating the forward can be, yet Guardiola does not believe he has reached his full potential.

"We're delighted," Guardiola said. "Hopefully he feels good being here.

"We only had one month of competition. We still have margins to improve (for him) to be a better player and we're working on that."

Yet City also have the luxury of being able to rest Haaland and bring in Julian Alvarez, another new forward whose involvement so far has been limited by his team-mate's brilliance.

"When Erling doesn't play, we play Julian," Guardiola added. "Almost sure. We are all really impressed for his pace, sense of goal, his work ethic, for many things.

"Every session (he) leaves everything. Impact in pre-season, now plays minutes. Involved in two goals the last game, always the sense to be involved in the right areas.

"When he drops he has the quality to play. Everyone is talking about Erling, but he is exceptional."

Forest boss Steve Cooper certainly knows City possess more than one threat, even if his side are relishing coming up against Haaland.

"Harry Kane on Sunday and Haaland tomorrow, two world-class strikers and goalscorers," he said. "This is why you want to be in this league. You are coming up against the best players in the world.

"City don't just have Haaland; they have a number of players."

Manchester City - Bernardo Silva

Haaland is grabbing the headlines, but Silva has been vital to fightbacks against both Newcastle United and Palace. With two goals and an assist across those games, it is clear why City battled so hard to keep him at the club in this window.

Nottingham Forest - Dean Henderson

Forest are certainly giving Henderson every opportunity to reclaim his place in the England squad. The on-loan goalkeeper has already saved two penalties this season and will undoubtedly be kept busy his slightly porous back line against City.

- This is the first meeting in any competition between Man City and Nottingham Forest since January 2009, with Forest winning an FA Cup tie 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

- Man City are unbeaten in their last four league games against Nottingham Forest (W3 D1), with this their first such meeting since a 3-0 win in March 2002, courtesy of a Darren Huckerby hat-trick.

- Man City have won just one of their six Premier League meetings with Nottingham Forest (D3 L2), though this is the first such meeting since December 1995. In fact, the last time Nottingham Forest were in the Premier League in 1998-99, Manchester City were in the third tier of English football.

- Nottingham Forest have lost their last six Premier League games against the reigning champions by an aggregate score of 23-3. Their last such win was in December 1994 at Manchester United, with that 2-1 victory Man Utd's only home league defeat that season, accounting for 50 per cent of the goals they conceded at Old Trafford that term.

- Manchester City have won their last 20 Premier League games on a Wednesday - victory here would equal the competition's record for most consecutive wins on a specific day of the week, currently held by Liverpool with 21 straight Saturday victories between November 2018 and February 2020.

Updated August 30, 2022

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