Football is back! Nottingham Forest welcome West Brom to The City Ground on Saturday evening as the Championship season gets underway.
Pre-season is done and dusted and the competitive action finally returns, with Sabri Lamouchi set to take his place in the dug out for the first time in front of a packed City Ground crowd.
West Brom will be a tough test, however, and will have promotion ambitions of their own at the start of the season. Slaven Bilic is also set for his first competitive outing as Baggies boss.
Tale of the tape
- The Reds will be looking to kick-off the 2019-20 campaign with a victory on home soil
- Forest ended last season on a high with three straight victories and will be looking to continue that form on Saturday
- Forest faced West Brom on the opening day of the 2000-01 season, winning 1-0 - their last home league victory against The Baggies
- The Baggies will be looking to bounce back after last season's play-off disappointment
- West Brom have won just once in the last six meetings between the two sides in all competitions, losing three times and drawing twice
- Albion came from behind in both games against Forest last season to secure a draw
Forest were dealt a blow as Tendayi Darikwa was ruled out with a knee injury and is set for a spell on the sidelines as he is set for an operation. That means that Matty Cash is set to start at right back, with youngster Jayden Richardson also impressing in pre-season.
Joao Carvalho is likely to return to training next week having been injured in pre-season so will be missing but there is set to be a host of debutants for The Reds, with boss Sabri Lamouchi having plenty of options in midfield and attack to choose from.
Head to head
|Forest wins||Draws||West Brom wins|
Last time out
From the opposition
West Brom head coach Slaven Bilic is eager to taste Championship football as he gets set for his first match in charge.
He said: "I feel good, I feel excited, I feel ready for the first game. We’ve been training really good. We are fit, we are fresh, we are exactly where we wanted to be one day before the start of the season and that’s it, we are ready.
"Forest have everything, the fanbase, the size of the club and everything, the community. They are also definitely hoping and planning to go up. They have a very ambitious owner as well. They’ve brought in a new manager and some new players.
"We watched their game against Real Sociedad and they played some good football.
"It tells you everything about the Championship that in the first round there are big games straight away. There’s Forest against us but I bet there’s a few other games that are very attractive on paper. That says by itself the size of the league."
Darren England is set to take charge of Saturday's game at The City Ground. He also took charge of this fixture last season, overseeing the 1-1 draw.
He took charge of three Forest games in total last season, also refereeing the 3-2 victory over Stoke in the Carabao Cup and the triumph against Leeds United, both at The City Ground.
There is set to be a strong crowd on Trentside to welcome in the new season, with record season card sales during the summer.
Make sure you arrive early to avoid queues getting into the ground. Ticket information can be found here.
As the match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, there will be no live stream of the match for international subscribers to iFollow Forest. Audio commentary provided by BBC Radio Nottingham will be available, however.
You can also follow all of the action via the club's official social media channels and in the Match Centre, with a match report and full reaction here at nottinghamforest.co.uk after the final whistle.