Chelsea VS Nottingham LIVE Football Score 01/01/2023
Chelsea will endeavour to boost their top-four hopes and begin 2023 with a victory when they travel to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on New Year’s Day. While the Blues secured a comfortable home win over Bournemouth last time out, the Tricky Trees were defeated at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford. Six days on from beating Blackburn Rovers 4-1 in the EFL Cup fourth round, Nottingham Forest saw their four-game unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end when they lost 3-0 away against Man United on Tuesday night.
Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred were all on the scoresheet as Steve Cooper’s side struggled to lay a glove on the Red Devils and ultimately slumped to their ninth league defeat of the season. Forest are the only team who are yet to secure maximum points away from home in the top flight so far this campaign and Cooper’s men remain in the relegation zone, but at the time of writing they are only one point adrift from safety and just four points behind Leicester City in 13th place.
While their away form has left a little to be desired, Forest have enjoyed more success in front of their own fans at the City Ground so far this term, accumulating 11 of their 13 Premier League points on home soil. Indeed, the Tricky Trees are unbeaten in their last four home league matches, with score draws against Aston Villa and Brentford alternating between hard-fought 1-0 victories over Liverpool and Crystal Palace. Forest also boast an impressive record in the month of January, winning 11 of their 19 Premier League matches which is their best win rate (58%) in a single month in the competition; only Man United (65%) have a higher win rate than Forest in January in Premier League history. Chelsea, meanwhile, ended a four-game losing streak when they breezed past Bournemouth to claim a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Kai Havertz and Mason Mount both scored within the first 24 minutes and although the Blues had numerous chances to further increase their lead, they eventually ran out comfortable winners and picked up their first three points in the Premier League since October 16. Graham Potter’s side remain eighth in the top-flight standings but Tottenham Hotspur’s draw with Brentford on Boxing Day means that the Blues have moved to within six points of their London rivals in fourth place with a game in hand.
Chelsea struggled on the road in the final few weeks before the World Cup, losing each of their last three away games and conceding seven goals in the process. Potter will now be keen to see signs of improvement on their travels as three of their next four fixtures in all competitions are away from Stamford Bridge. The West Londoners have also failed to win their first league fixture in any of the last six calendar years, but their record against Nottingham Forest at least bodes well ahead of Sunday’s contest as they have won each of their last seven meetings with the Tricky Trees, scoring at least twice on each occasion.
In addition, Chelsea have lost only one of their last 11 away league matches against promoted teams, suffering a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United in July 2020. Nottingham Forest will be able to welcome back Man United loanee Dean Henderson to the starting lineup after the goalkeeper was ineligible to face his parent club last time out. Wayne Hennessey is therefore set to drop down to the substitutes’ bench.
However, the hosts’ injury list continues to grow, with Morgan Gibbs-White now set “for a little while” on the sidelines with a muscle problem, while Jesse Lingard is a doubt after coming off against the Red Devils with discomfort in his hamstring which was heavily strapped up during the game at Old Trafford.
Chiekhou Kouyate and Moussa Niakhate both remain long-term absentees with hamstring problems, as do Omar Richards and Giulian Biancone who continue to recover from respective leg and ACL injuries. Serge Aurier recovered from a minor calf issue to start against Man United, but he could be replaced at right-back by Neco Williams, while either Sam Surridge or Emmanuel Dennis could start at the expense of Lingard should Cooper decide to stick with a 4-3-3 formation.
As for Chelsea, they will be without Armando Broja (ACL), N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell (both hamstring), Wesley Fofana (knee) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (calf) due to injury, with the former of whom set to miss the rest of the season. Reece James was fit to start against Bournemouth but he was withdrawn shortly after half time with the same knee problem that ruled him out of the World Cup; the Englishman is now out for up to a month and captain Cesar Azpilicueta is expected to take his place at right-back.
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga recovered from a foot problem in time to start against the Cherries and the Spaniard is set to keep his place between the sticks ahead of Edouard Mendy. Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech – who were granted extra time off following their World Cup exploits with Croatia and Morocco respectively – could be in a position to return to the matchday squad, but a place in the first XI is seemingly unlikely for the midfield pair.
Potter may consider a couple of other changes to freshen up his side, with Conor Gallagher potentially replacing Denis Zakaria in centre-midfield, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be hoping to force his way into the first XI ahead of either Havertz, Raheem Sterling or Christian Pulisic.
New Year’s Day’s Premier League offering wraps up at The City Ground where Nottingham Forest welcome Chelsea. The Blues have won all of the last seven games between the two clubs but Trentside has not always been a happy hunting ground for them and Forest’s last win in this fixture was a home tie in January 1997.
The hosts were relegated that season and will need the new year to bring improve fortunes if they’re to avoid the same fate in 2022/23. Chelsea, too, will be hoping to climb the table in the opening months of 2023 but perhaps more important for Graham Potter would be the emergence of a clear identity on the pitch. He and Steve Cooper will have been two of the coaches with the most work to do during the World Cup break and will now be keen to show they made the most of that time.