Paul Merson and Chris Sutton agree on Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea result with Reece James boost

Chelsea and Nottingham Forest players battle for the ball earlier in the season

Chelsea will be boosted by the return of Reece James to their squad when they travel to Nottingham Forest this evening.

James has not played a single minute in 2024 after he received surgery for a persistent hamstring issue. His last appearance in the Premier League was against Everton in December but the 24-year-old hinted he could start at the City Ground today when he tweeted on Saturday morning: "See you at 5:30."

The clash in the East Midlands is a big one at both ends of the table as Forest attempt to move clear of the relegation zone and the Blues attempt to continue their push towards Europa League qualification. Chelsea have won their last two fixtures comfortably but the 5-0 defeat to Arsenal a fortnight ago is proof that not every issue has been solved just yet at Stamford Bridge.

Ahead of this evening's game pundits Paul Merson, Chris Sutton and Mark Lawrenson have given their predictions for the contest.

Paul Merson

"Todd Boehly praised Chelsea's recent run of form in an interview but I don't want that to cover over the cracks," Merson wrote for Sportskeeda. "They have been a bag of Revels this season under Mauricio Pochettino - you never quite know what you are going to get from them!

"Forest are decent at home and might not need anymore points to stay up if Luton don't get a positive result. However, they are still fighting for safety and will be on their toes to add to their points tally."

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Prediction - Nottingham Forest 2-2 Chelsea

Chris Sutton

"By the time this game kicks off, Nottingham Forest will know how Luton and Burnley have done," Sutton added on the BBC Sport website. "They could be as good as safe... or under a lot of pressure.

"Chelsea have hit a bit of form and Mauricio Pochettino is showing why he always deserved to get time with this team, because they have found more consistency the longer the season has gone on. But Forest have got some good players and I can see them getting a point out of this, which might be enough to make it absolutely certain they are staying up."

Prediction - Nottingham Forest 1-1 Chelsea

Mark Lawrenson

The former Liverpool man told Paddy Power: "Anything can happen with Chelsea, it’s the toss of a coin. Nottingham Forest won last week and looked more like it.

"They’re good at home in general so I’m going to have Forest to win this."

Prediction - Nottingham Forest 2-1 Chelsea