Competition: Championship Date: Saturday 3rd August 2019 Venue: The City Ground Kick-Off: 17:30 BST Referee: Darren England
Nottingham Forest will be missing Joao Carvalho for the 2019/20 curtain-raiser. The Portuguese attacking midfielder was injured in the club’s opening friendly against Alfreton Town.
Several new players could be handed their debuts under boss Sabri Lamouchi. Aro Muric, Alfa Semedo, Tiago Silva, Albert Adomah, Yuri Ribeiro, Rafa Mir and Sammy Ameobi will all push for starts.
West Bromwich Albion will arrive at the City Ground with several new players hoping to make their debuts. Kenneth Zohore, Romaine Sawyers, Darnell Furlong, Semi Ajayi and Filip Krovinovic will all hope to start in Slaven Bilic’s first game in charge.
Once again the summer months have seen upheaval on the banks of the River Trent. Pre-season was just five days old when Martin O’Neill was handed his papers and sent packing from his duties.
The new incumbent is French manager Sabri Lamouchi and his remit is clear. Do what his predecessors couldn’t and restore Forest’s status as a Premier League club.
He has set about giving the Reds an identity during the pre-season campaign. Aside from a thrashing to Champions League hopefuls Olympiacos, the friendlies have been positive.
Forest have a difficult start to the season, facing three teams heavily backed by the bookmakers, and would dearly love to start with a win.
West Brom were beaten by Aston Villa in the play-off semi-final last season, leading to caretaker boss Jimmy Shan stepping aside.
Croatian boss Slaven Bilic is the man tasked with leading the Baggies back to the Premier League. He returns to English football after a two-year absence.
Like Lamouchi, the West Brom boss will want to hit the ground running in his first foray into Championship management, with everything pointing to a cracking opening day fixture on Trentside.
Forest: (4-2-3-1): Muric; Cash, Milosevic, Dawson, Robinson; Watson, Semedo; Adomah, Tiago Silva, Lolley; Grabban
West Brom: (4-2-3-1): Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Bartley, Gibbs; Harper, Livermore; Phillips, Krovinovic, Edwards; Zohore
One to watch
It is hard to look past new recruit Filip Krovinovic as the opposition player that Forest need to be wary of.
The 23-year-old has signed on a season-long loan from Benfica and comes with bucket loads of potential.
Last season he made 12 appearances for the Portuguese giants and with plenty of game time he could be one to watch in the Championship this season.
Krovinovic has looked lively in the club’s friendly fixtures and as a result, Forest must keep a careful eye on him this weekend.
Home tickets for this fixture are selling out quickly with the last few now available from the club’s official website.
West Brom sold out their allocation of just under 2000 in less than three days.
TV and Radio
Forest’s opening fixture will be televised live on Sky Sports Football and the coverage will start 15 minutes before the game gets underway.
The visit of the Baggies will also be broadcast on BBC Radio Nottingham via the usual 103.8 frequency.