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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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04 August 2018 Venue Ashton Gate Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Match preview: Bristol City (A)

3 August 2018

The wait for Sky Bet Championship action to return is nearly over as Nottingham Forest get their season underway at Bristol City tomorrow afternoon.

Aitor Karanka's side have been building towards the kick-off after a strong pre-season and with plenty of new faces, there is lots to be optimistic about for the 2018-19 campaign.

There will be a packed out away end with Forest fans snapping up all 2,696 tickets and they will be in full voice at Ashton Gate on Saturday to cheer on the new look Reds.

From the dressing room

Both Aitor Karanka and Ben Osborn have been speaking to the media ahead of tomorrow's game. See their pre-match thoughts below.

Team news

Aitor Karanka said that he has a fully-fit squad to choose from with the players coming through pre-season unscathed.

The Reds boss now has a big selection headache with plenty of options all across the park to choose from. Luke Steele, Jack Robinson, Gil Dias, Joao Carvalho, Diogo Goncalves, Hillal Soudani and Lewis Grabban could all be in line for their debuts, with fellow new signings Costel Pantilimon, Tobias Figueiredo and Jack Colback also in contention.

Opposition view

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson is pleased with how his side's preparations have gone ahead of the opening game of the season. 

"Pre-season has gone very well," Johnson said. "I've been delighted with the players and their application throughout the summer.

"We have worked on a lot of things, hopefully the fans will see some improvement and changes in the way we play, while we are maintaining the things we do very, very well."

With seven new faces, there has been a fair bit of change at Ashton Gate this summer but Johnson is happy with the way The Robins are shaping up.

"I am expecting a brilliant game, it will be end to end and entertaining," Johnson told bcfc.co.uk.

"They [Forest] are a good possession side, as are we, and we have to do our very best to prize them open and pick holes in their defence but I feel we are ready.

"We couldn't have done any more and the players are chomping at the bit to get out on the home turf."

One to watch - Andi Weimann

A summer signing from Derby County, Andi Weimann will be expected to fill the shoes of last season's star man Bobby Reid, who crossed the River Severn to join Cardiff City.

A player with plenty of pace and attacking threat, Weimann will be hoping to make a good early impression in his new surroundings as Bristol City look to improve on last season's 11th place finish.

Head to head

Nottingham Forest - 39 wins
Bristol City - 19 wins
Draws - 31

Last season:
Bristol City 2-1 Forest (Saturday 16th December, 2017)
Forest 0-0 Bristol City (Saturday 28th April, 2018)

Tickets

All 2,696 tickets allocated to Nottingham Forest have been sold out, with supporters clammering to get their tickets to see the opening game of the season.

No further tickets will be available and supporters without a match ticket are advised not to travel.

Coverage

There will be live coverage of the match on iFollow Forest. Audio commentary is available to UK and Ireland subscribers, while a live broadcast of the game will be available to overseas subscribers. 

Make sure you are subscribed before the start of the game, with domestic season passes costing £45 and international passes costing £110. Subscribe by clicking here.

There will also be coverage via the Match Centre and on the club's official social media channels.

Other fixtures

All fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated:

Reading v Derby (Friday, 8pm)
Birmingham v Norwich
Brentford v Rotherham
Ipswich v Blackburn
Millwall v Middlesbrough
Preston v QPR
West Brom v Bolton
Wigan v Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield United v Swansea (kick-off 5.30pm)
Leeds v Stoke (Sunday, 4.30pm)
Hull v Aston Villa (Monday, 7.45pm)

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Match Reports

Bristol City 1-1 Forest

4 August 2018

Nottingham Forest began the 2018-19 season with a 1-1 draw against Bristol City at Ashton Gate this afternoon.

Daryl Murphy's fine second-half leveller ensured that Forest returned home with a point after Andreas Weimann had given the hosts an early lead.

After plenty of second-half pressure, Forest couldn't find a away through The Robins' defence and both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Aitor Karanka handed debuts to Gil Dias, Joao Carvalho and Diogo Goncalves, while Costel Pantilimon and Michael Dawson also started following their returns to the club this summer.

There was a lively atmosphere in side Ashton Gate as the game got underway, and it seemed to inspire the home side more as it took five minutes for them to take the lead.

A superb save from Pantilimon denied Callum O'Dowda from close range but as the second ball came into the box, Weimann won his battle to head goalwards and score via the crossbar.

Another cross into the box on 14 almost saw The Robins double the lead as Nathan Baker rose highest at the back post but the alert Ben Osborn was on hand to clear off the line.

Following that chance, there was a good response from The Reds – wearing the new white Macron away kit – as first Tendayi Darikwa made a great run down the right but saw his low cross cleared away from danger, and then Dias let fly from 30 yards on 18 minutes but his rasping drive fizzed over the crossbar.

The Reds were starting to dominate possession as Dias won the ball in midfield on 28 to launch a counter attack. The Portuguese winger drove towards the City penalty area before teeing up Daryl Murphy who saw his low shot deflect onto the outside of the post.

Forest finished the first half on top but couldn't find the break through, but it took less than two minutes of the second half for The Reds to find the back of the net.

A well-worked break forward eventually saw the ball find Adlene Guedioura on the left-hand side of the area. His chipped cross was superbly glanced into the far corner off the head of Murphy to send the sold-out away end into raptures.

Forest looked like they were going to add a second goal soon after as they had The Robins on the back foot. Guedioura saw a drive well saved by goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa, and then his fizzing effort was well blocked before Ben Watson's follow-up shot was also prevented from going goalwards by a Bristol City defender.

On 67 Murphy almost added his second as a swift counter attack ended up with him getting a header in on goal at the near post, but Maenpaa was equal to it, and at the other Pantilimon was called into action for the first time in the half to parry Joe Bryan's low strike.

The Reds went in search of the winning goal, with Lewis Grabban coming on for his debut. A smart turn inside the area by Carvalho saw him find half-a-yard of space on 78 but his left-footed effort was tame and easy for Maenpaa to gather, and the Finnish stopper was called into action again on 86 as substitute Joe Lolley hit a fine effort from 20 yards which the keeper parried away.

Ultimately though, a much better second-half performance from Forest saw them come away from Ashton Gate with a point as their season got up and running.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Dawson (Figueiredo 87'), Fox, Osborn, Guedioura, Watson (c), Dias (Lolley 80'), Carvalho, Goncalves, Murphy (Grabban 73')

Unused subs: Smith, Colback, Cash, Robinson

Goal: Murphy 46'

Bookings: Guedioura 50', Dias 60', Carvalho 81', Watson 90'

Bristol City: Maenpaa, Hunt, Webster, Baker, Bryan, Eliasson (Eisa 80'), Pack (c), Brownhill, O'Dowda (Smith 68'), Paterson (Taylor 68'), Weimann

Unused subs: O'Leary, Pisano, Walsh, Kelly

Goal: Weimann 5'

Referee: Darren Bond

Attendance: 22,395 (2,692 away)

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Ticket News

Bristol City tickets sold out

30 July 2018

Tickets for Nottingham Forest's opening game of the Sky Bet Championship season at Bristol City have now sold out.

Reds supporters have snapped up all 2,696 tickets for the match at Ashton Gate on Saturday 4th August and no further tickets will be allocated.

Coach travel

Nottingham Forest's official club partner BetBright are offering free coach travel for this fixture which departs the Brian Clough Stand at 10am.

Coach travel can only be purchased if a match ticket for this fixture has already been purchased and BetBright will provide a maximum of 15 coaches.

Coach travel can only be claimed in-person at the ticket office or by calling 0115 982 4388.

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