EPL

Forest 'still have to finish the job' against Burnley, says Nuno

By Sports Desk May 18, 2024

Nuno Espirito Santo insists Nottingham Forest “still have to finish the job” of securing their Premier League safety when they face Burnley at Turf Moor.

Three points clear of 18th-place Luton Town in 17th, Forest are all but safe from relegation, while it would take an unlikely 12-goal swing in the Hatters’ favour to usurp them.

Nevertheless, Nuno is not taking anything for granted and has called for focus from his players, who he saluted for their efforts throughout the campaign. 

"We still have to finish the job," he said. "But credit to the players because it was not an easy season. We have always been able to compete really well in games. 

"The feeling is always that we should have been better. We have never felt that someone beat us; it was just that we let games get away from us.

"Yes, in certain games we have been punished, but we have always been a team that wants to attack and score. That is part of our identity.

"There is still a game to go, and we know how football can go. It is best that we prepare the same way with commitment. We are clear about everything that can happen. It is up to us to achieve what we want."

Meanwhile, Burnley are preparing for life back in the Championship, with their immediate return secured after last weekend’s defeat at Tottenham.

And Vincent Kompany says the match marks the first step towards the Clarets' recovery from their disappointment.

"If we're treating this as the first game of next season, in terms of preparing for next season, then this game is an important game," he said.

"You only really fail if you fail to learn and that's not the case for us. We've absolutely learned. There is no lack of motivation, no lack of desire. 

"It's sometimes in human nature to sit down and sulk, to feel sorry for yourself. That is not in the culture here, it's not in my nature, the nature of many people here. 

"We try to give that to the players – that's ultimately what is going to give them a chance to achieve their goals."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Burnley – Dara O'Shea

O'Shea has been directly involved in two of the last three goals Burnley have scored at Turf Moor (one goal, one assist).

The defender will look to build on that against a Forest side that has conceded 23 goals from set-pieces this season, with only three teams ever letting more in during a single Premier League campaign.

Nottingham Forest – Chris Wood

Wood is the highest scorer in Burnley’s Premier League history, having netted 49 times for the Clarets in the competition between 2017 and 2022.

The striker will aim to become the fifth player to score a Premier League goal against Burnley having previously played for them in the division, after Andre Gray, Danny Ings, Michael Keane and Patrick Bamford.

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

Forest are without a win in each of their last six league meetings with Burnley since a 2-0 victory in December 2012, with four of those ending in a draw.

The Tricky Trees have failed to win their final league game in each of the last four seasons, since beating Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in 2018-19.

Meanwhile, Burnley have lost their final Premier League game in each of their last six campaigns at this level.

The Clarets have also won only twice at home this season. Failure to win here would mean this is the fewest wins they have ever recorded in front of their fans in a single campaign.

Kompany’s side will need to tighten up in order to avoid that, though, having conceded at least once in each of their last 19 Premier League matches.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Burnley: 35.9%
Nottingham Forest: 34.8%
Draw: 29.3%

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