While the home team currently enjoys the Premier League's top spot, the visitors sit in eighth place, having accumulated seven points from their last four top-flight matches. Manchester City supporters have every reason to be enthusiastic, with their team securing five consecutive victories in the Premier League, including a 3-1 triumph against West Ham United last weekend.
The match saw goals from summer acquisition Jeremy Doku, Bernardo Silva, and Erling Haaland. In that game, Pep Guardiola's squad had to mount a comeback after trailing at halftime, a situation they successfully replicated on Tuesday night in their inaugural Group G Champions League match at home against Red Star Belgrade. They eventually won 3-1, despite Red Star taking the lead with their first shot on target, courtesy of Osman Bukari, just before halftime.
In contrast, City dominated with 37 shots and 76% possession throughout the 90 minutes, with Julian Alvarez scoring twice and last season's Champions League final hero, Rodri, calmly finishing to secure the victory and extend their club-record home winning streak to 19 games in all competitions.
City's remarkable form at the Etihad Stadium has significantly contributed to their recent success. Not only do they maintain an unbeaten streak of 27 home games in the Champions League, which is the third-longest in the competition's history, but they have also triumphed in all 12 of their Premier League home matches in 2023, netting 35 goals in the process.
On Saturday, Manchester City will be eager to secure another three points and become only the second reigning Premier League champion, after Chelsea in 2005-06, to win their opening six top-flight games of a season. They will face Nottingham Forest, a team they have defeated in their last three home encounters without conceding a goal, including a resounding 6-0 victory in August 2022. Nottingham Forest, who suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Burnley in the EFL Cup second round nearly three weeks ago, were on course for a similar fate against Burnley in their recent Premier League clash.
However, debutant Callum Hudson-Odoi made a memorable impact with a spectacular second-half strike from outside the area, securing a 1-1 draw for Steve Cooper's side. In that game, Burnley was controversially denied a late winner by VAR due to a contentious handball decision. Considering that Forest has already faced Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea away from home this season, Cooper can reasonably be satisfied with his team's seven points from their first five Premier League matches. However, another challenging away match awaits them against the reigning champions at the Etihad Stadium.
Forest's slim 1-0 victory at Chelsea in their last away match – one of only two away league wins in 14 games since the beginning of the year – will instill confidence in Cooper's squad as they prepare to face Manchester City. Nevertheless, Nottingham Forest enters Saturday's fixture with a winless streak in their last six league encounters with Man City. The only time Forest celebrated victory at the Etihad was as a Championship club back in January 2009 when they shocked Manchester City with a 3-0 FA Cup win under former caretaker manager John Pemberton.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONBernardo Silva of Manchester City has been sidelined for the "next few weeks" due to an unspecified leg injury sustained during the victory over Red Star. He joins Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring), John Stones (muscle), and Jack Grealish (knee) on the injury list.
Mateo Kovacic has been absent from the last two games due to a back muscle issue, but Guardiola has hinted that he may return to the matchday squad on Saturday.
Bernardo's absence is likely to lead to Doku's return to the starting lineup, with Doku playing on the opposite flank to Phil Foden. In defense, Josko Gvardiol and Manuel Akanji are both vying for a starting spot and could potentially replace Nathan Ake and Sergio Gomez.
Alvarez, who scored his first two Premier League goals for Manchester City in a 6-0 victory over Forest last season, is expected to continue in the attack alongside Haaland, who secured a hat-trick against the same opponent.
As for Nottingham Forest, Harry Toffolo is ruled out due to an FA suspension, and Brazilian midfielder Danilo may not be fit in time for Saturday's game as he missed the draw with Burnley due to a hamstring injury. Felipe, Wayne Hennessey (both knee), and Serge Aurier (unspecified) are all doubtful due to injuries, and Willy Boly (illness) will be assessed before kickoff.
Gonzalo Montiel, who struggled in his Forest debut against Burnley and was substituted shortly after half-time, could be replaced by Ola Aina. Aina may start either as a right-back or right wing-back, depending on whether Cooper opts for a back four or a five-man defense. Arsenal loanee Nuno Tavares could earn his first start on the left side of the defense.
Big-money summer signing Ibrahim Sangare and Orel Mangala could partner in midfield, while Hudson-Odoi, Morgan Gibbs-White, and former Manchester United player Anthony Elanga will be hoping to retain their positions in the attacking third, alongside striker Taiwo Awoniyi.
POSSIBLE LINE-UPSManchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, Nunes; Foden, Alvarez, Doku; Haaland
Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Turner; Boly, Worrall, McKenna; Aina, Sangare, Mangala, Tavares; Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi; Awoniyi
Manchester City 4-1 Nottingham Forest
Man City has let in goals in their last four games, which might worry their coach Guardiola a bit. But since Man City has many skilled attackers, they should be able to score against Nottingham Forest's defense and win at home without too much trouble.