Relegation permutations and what Nottingham Forest need to do to secure Premier League survival

Nottingham Forest are fighting to secure survival
Nottingham Forest are fighting to secure survival -Credit:Getty

Nottingham Forest have their Premier League fate in their own hands as they prepare for their final home game of the season.

The Reds took a big step towards safety with last weekend’s 3-1 victory over Sheffield United. And now they will look to get over the line.

Doing so with a match to spare would certainly help with the nerves. Forest managed just that when they toppled Arsenal at the City Ground last year. Their 1-0 win over the Gunners prompted jubilant scenes of celebration, and the Reds would love a repeat when Chelsea arrive Trentside on Saturday.

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It is a 5.30pm kick-off for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men. By the time they take to the pitch, they will have a clearer picture of the situation at the bottom end of the table as their relegation rivals kick off at 3pm. We take a look at the permutations in the battle for survival, with two from three to go down.

As it stands…

Forest: 29 points, -18 goal difference. Remaining games are Chelsea (H) on May 11, 5.30pm KO and Burnley (A) on May 19.

Luton Town: 26 points -29 goal difference. Remaining games are West Ham United (A) on May 11, 3pm KO and Fulham (H) on May 19.

Burnley: 24 points, -35 goal difference. Remaining games are Tottenham Hotspur (A) on May 11, 3pm KO and Forest (H) on May 19.

What could happen?

A Forest win would effectively secure survival, regardless of what happens earlier in the day. The Reds’ superior goal difference would make it unlikely Luton could catch them, if both teams are victorious on Saturday.

If the Hatters fail to beat the Hammers, a Forest victory over Chelsea would unequivocally get Nuno’s men over the line. A draw for the Reds would effectively secure safety if both Luton and Burnley fail to win, due to the Reds’ better goal difference. If Luton lose and Forest get at least a point, the Reds would stay up.

For the Clarets, anything less than three points in the capital will see them relegated. Even a victory would not be enough to keep them in with a chance if Nuno’s men go on to triumph at the City Ground. A win or a draw for Luton would take the survival race down to the final day, if Forest lose to Chelsea.

What has been said?

Nuno: “(The message is) that we don’t have to get distracted about what is happening in other stadiums. We have to focus on ourselves, this is the main message that is being said. This is what we want, let’s just focus on ourselves and play a good game.

“It is our last game at home, it is important for our main goal and for our fans that we finish in a nice way at the City Ground because they have been so helpful. Their support is so important for us. Now is the moment to try to give back all that they have given to us.”

Luton boss Rob Edwards: “I think we have been in worse situations at the football club and got out of it. We know what we have got to do – we have got to pick up points and it has got to start tomorrow.

“Of course it is not (mission impossible). We will concentrate on ourselves and obviously we are going to need help – but we all know how difficult it is to win in the Premier League.

“We have got try and do that and obviously Forest and Burnley have got difficult games as well. They are all tough, but without us doing our job it does not matter what anyone else does.”

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany: “I wouldn’t describe this game as a high pressure game for us. I don’t think we have anything to lose.

“If you go into this weekend protecting a two-point lead I can see how that’s a different mindset. Perhaps I’d be trying to convince myself if I was saying there is no pressure at that moment, but in this case I genuinely believe it’s all opportunity for us.

“I don’t want to think about the Forest game right now. I think (Spurs) is our last game and I think that if we give ourselves a final versus Forest, that’s a final.

“This is our last game of the regular season, and anything can happen on the final day of the season as you know.”

Will Forest stay up? Have your say in the comments below