Nottingham Forest have today had their fixture list confirmed for the 2021/22 campaign.
Supporters can now stock up on fruit pastilles for those long car journeys and start marking their calendar with occupied dates.
Chris Hughton’s men haven’t been dealt a bad start to the campaign; although it doesn’t look a great league once again.
First up is a trip to Coventry City. England play India at Trent Bridge on that weekend so an away game was always going to be first up.
Forest then face home games against Bournemouth and Blackburn Rovers.
Forest began the season in abysmal fashion during 2020/21. Several new players failed to gel and the team lost all of their opening four games.
But, just how many points will we get from the first six games this time around?
Forest’s first six Championship fixtures predicted:
Forest did the double over Coventry last season, beating them 2-1 both home and away.
The Sky Blues return to Ricoh Arena next season and their supporters should make for a great atmosphere.
Mark Robins will be up for it and he’s an old foe of Forest’s, but we think a narrow win might be on the card.
Prediction: 2-1 to Forest
Forest were thrashed at the Vitality Stadium last season but did secure a battling point at the City Ground.
The first game on Trentside should be fantastic and the long-awaited return of Mull of Kintyre prior to kick off will have Forest fans riddled with goosebumps.
Bournemouth will be strong during 2021/22 and we think this could end in defeat.
Prediction: 2-1 to Bournemouth
Blackburn Rovers (H)
The City Ground should be rocking once again for the first floodlit game back for supporters.
Forest did the double over Tony Mowbray’s team during 2020/21 and will fancy their chances again.
Of course, the two teams will look very different but we fancy Forest to claim all three points here.
Prediction: 1-0 to Forest
Stoke City (A)
A trip to the Bet 365 Stadium is typically a decent away day given that it’s an hour along the A50.
Whether Forest fans will be able to attend away games during August does remain to be seen, however.
Stoke are typically a decent side at home and under Michael O’Neill they have some real ambition.
Both games finished as draws last season and we think the same could happen on this occasion.
Derby County (A)
The big one. It’s rare for an East Midlands derby to take place so early and more recently it’s rare for the Reds to be away first.
This fixture could yet see Forest face a trip to Wycombe. If Derby’s points deduction is put onto last season’s total they will play in League One next season.
You have to rewind to October 2017 for the last time Nottingham Forest lost a game of football to the Rams.
By this point, they could be sitting on minus points in the table but it will represent a tricky game.
At this stage our head tells us another draw but our heart says we should be winning. We’ll opt for the latter.
Prediction: 1-0 to Forest
Cardiff City (H)
A lot might have happened by the time we play out sixth game of the campaign and Cardiff should be up there again.
The Bluebirds beat Forest 2-0 when they last visited the City Ground.
Revenge was exerted when Forest headed to Wales on Good Friday, with James Garner scoring the only goal of the game.
A tough game awaits but right now, we think this could possibly provide us with a defeat.
Prediction: 2-1 Cardiff
Forest to get 11 points from 18
Pretty ambitious but if you offered Forest fans that return now, we’d probably take it.
Of course, by the time these games start our team is likely to look even different.
Forest will have ambitions of competing again and it’s vital they get plenty of points during the opening weeks of the campaign.
The excitement will now start to build and it’ll be interesting to see what players arrive ahead of the opening game of the season.