10 min: Elanga, as predicted by Eric from Pittsburgh below, has Young on toast down the Forest left. Maybe not quite toast, but certainly lightly grilled. They are shoulder to shoulder but Young is losing the battle and he feels obliged to foul his opponent, lest he show him a clean pair of boots, and Forest have a free-kick in a very handy spot. The set-piece is bent over into the six-yard box but flicked away and clear.
9 min: Elanga loses it for Forest and Everton are quickly on the attack. However, Elanga shows good energy and effort to track back and force the ball out. Corner to Everton, which is flapped at by Vlachodimos. But Forest get away with it and clear.
8 min: “Given that we are celebrating 60 years of Dr Who (I am old enough to have watched the first episode live) let’s time travel back to the 80s, a decade, yes a decade without a Manchester engraving on the trophy,” emails Jeremy Boyce. “It was all Paisley, Clough and yes, Harvey. Great to see Forest and Everton tussling it out again, albeit at the wrong end of the table. Great that Forest have stayed loyal to Steve, fingers crossed for him. Great that Toffees have Dyche who will steel them for the challenges ahead. As a neutral (actually a Leeds fan, let’s not go into that…) a draw would seem to be a fair result, which would actually suit neither of them. May the better team win!”
6 min: Aurier is causing bother down the right for Forest. He slides a pass to Gibbs-White, who gets to the byline and hangs a cross up to the far post. But it’s a “bit too floaty”, as the Sky co-commentator rightly points out. There were several Forest bodies on the scene, however.
3 min: Chris Wood, the former Burnley man, brings a roar from the Forest faithful when he sprints to try and gather a ball down the right channel for Forest. But he can’t get close to it. Aurier soon bends a cross from the same side, looking for Wood again, but Tarkowski clears with his noggin.
2 min: Harrison half-volleys a through ball down the middle in the direction of Doucoure, who has made a good run and rushed beyond the Forest back line. And indeed he’s flagged offside when he gets on the end of it. There’s been quite a bit of putting-your-foot-through-it from both defences in the early skirmishes.
Forest get things moving at a noisy City Ground.
The teams are literally out on the pitch! This is happening.
“Hello from Pittsburgh!” emails Eric Peterson. “No better way for a Toffee on this side of the pond to start the day than to see keeper-turned-analyst Tim Howard informed live on air in the US broadcast studio that he’s been tapped for the US Soccer Hall of Fame.
“What a representative of the game, his country, and every club team he’s ever suited up for. Now if we can only see his 16-save heroics against Belgium in the World Cup replicated by Jordan Pickford as Ashley Young gets torched again and again by Anthony Elanga on the Forest left wing. Gulp.”
“It feels like a big game … I’ve got a feeling we’ll have some goals tonight,” opines Redknapp on Sky.
Redknapp’s fellow pundit Izzy Christiansen, meanwhile, tells Kelly Cates it’s an interesting one tactically: she thinks that Morgan Gibbs-White will be drifting infield and looking to disrupt Dychey’s classic 4-4-2.
“The Brentford”, meanwhile, defeated Luton 3-1:
“The Arsenal” beat Wolves 2-1:
Burnley won 5-0, which is not something you see every day:
A rainbow armband for Ryan Yates, to mark Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign.
“A key focus of the partnership with Stonewall encourages LGBT+ acceptance among children and young people involved in community and education initiatives,” says the Premier League.
A mere 10 minutes until kick-off. Want to share your thoughts? Email me.
Steve Cooper also has a chat with Sky Sports: “Ibrahim (Sangare) wasn’t available the last couple of weeks. He’s been ill. We’ve got an illness with Danilo this week as well so that’s made it easier (to make the decision about selection) … The journey’s been positive and we’ve got to keep that going. It’s difficult, to make it another successful season … but handling setbacks like last week is what makes you stronger. This occasion, this atmosphere, is why we’ve worked so hard over the last couple of years.”
Sean Dyche, the Everton manager, speaks to Sky Sports: “Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s got a minor situation with his calf. The expectation (at Everton) is about our performances, and not to be worried about the noise, as I call it … I think this season we’ve shown a strong shift forward in our mentality … it’s really important that we keep focusing on performances.”
Steve Cooper’s tenure at Nottingham Forest has been a rollercoaster, with sporadic speculation over his future. Last season, Sean Dyche, out of work after being sacked by Burnley, was touted to make a return to the club where he was an apprentice under Brian Clough. Now, as speculation again begins to circle Cooper, Dyche is at Everton. Dyche’s team’s response to their 10-point penalty in last week’s match with Manchester United managed to be both impressive in the first half and submissive in the second. Forest meanwhile came off worst in a bad-tempered defeat by Brighton after which Cooper’s complaints about refereeing failed to draw a fig leaf over a poor defensive performance. For now, local reports have Cooper retaining the “full support” of Forest’s owner, Evangelos Marinakis, but Dyche’s team dragging his old club down may swiftly alter that situation. John Brewin
“Nothing changes – we’ve just got to win games – that will be the message.”
Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports there, analysing Sean Dyche’s approach to that 10-point penalty. Thank you for that.
Four changes for Forest: Serge Aurier, Ibrahim Sangare and Willy Boly come into the side, along with Ryan Yates, who takes the captain’s armband.
One change to the lineup for Everton – Dominic Calvert-Lewin is out with a “minor situation with his calf”, so Beto comes in up front. The Portuguese forward, who was signed from Udinese, has eight appearances thus far but no goals to speak of.
Nottm Forest: Vlachodimos, Aurier, Boly, Murillo, Toffolo, Sangare, Mangala, Yates, Gibbs-White, Wood, Elanga. Substitutes: Turner, Williams, Kouyate, Hudson-Odoi, Dominguez, Felipe, Niakhate, Origi, Aina.
Everton: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Harrison, Garner, Gueye, McNeil, Doucoure, Beto. Substitutes: Patterson, Keane, Danjuma, Virginia, Godfrey, Coleman, Chermiti, Hunt, Dobbin.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)
Everton have formally appealed against the decision to deduct the club 10 points for a breach of Premier League profit and sustainability rules, with the outcome expected in the new year.
Burnley have just gone 3-0 up against the Blades, so we can officially say that Everton are bottom of the table going into this 5.30 KO against Forest.
Scott Murray has the clockwatch here with all the 3pm kick-offs about to conclude.
And now it’s 4-0 Burnley! Everton are even more bottom than they were a minute ago!
Both of these teams are in the news but not much of it is good. Everton fans hoping for some kind of financial-penalty bounce instead got a 3-0 beating from Manchester United last weekend. Meanwhile speculation continues to swirl around the future of Steve Cooper, the Forest manager, with a paltry three Premier League wins on the board as the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest.
Everton have four in the “W” column, but thanks to a 10-point deduction for financial irregularities combined with Burnley’s impending success against Sheffield United, they sit rooted to the bottom of the table on four points.
Forest, meanwhile, are 15th, nine points above today’s opponents. Boasting a defence that’s recently been flakier than a yule log, they would appear to be prime candidates to be dragged down towards the mire by Sean Dyche’s industrious outfit.
Thrills and spills are in store on the banks of the River Trent in this festive relegation six-pointer. Certainly spills, anyway, hopefully with the odd thrill thrown in. Team news and more to follow.