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Match pack: Blackpool (H)

8 August 2014

Find out everything you need to know ahead of Nottingham Forest's Sky Bet Championship season-opener against Blackpool.

Nottingham Forest v Blackpool
Sky Bet Championship
Saturday 9 August (kick-off 3pm)
The City Ground

Pre-match brief

The Stuart Pearce era begins in earnest tomorrow afternoon as Nottingham Forest kick off their 2014-15 Sky Bet Championship campaign at home to Jose Riga’s Blackpool.

Having made nine additions to his squad over the summer, Pearce will be looking for his men to start the season in style in front of a sell-out crowd at The City Ground.

The two clubs have hit the headlines in recent weeks but with all the talking now done, both teams will want to concentrate solely on tomorrow’s clash on Trentside.

Team news

Forest quartet Eric Lichaj, Henri Lansbury, David Vaughan and Dexter Blackstock will not be fit enough to feature as they continue their return from injury but American full-back Lichaj is edging closer to a comeback after playing in Tuesday's 0-0 friendly draw with Burton Albion.

Stuart Pearce will have a number of selection headaches when he sits down to pick his starting 11 and could hand league debuts to any of the new signings including Matty Fryatt, Chris Burke and Britt Assombalonga.

Blackpool look likely to give debuts to a number of new signings including former Forest striker Ishmael Miller and on-loan Everton midfielder John Lundstram while the Seasiders' struggle to find a goalkeeper was solved this week as Joe Lewis joined on loan from Cardiff.

View from the Red corner 

Stuart Pearce: “Blackpool have signed a lot of players. What does that tell you? They have a lot of players with a lot to prove.

“Some of them have been freed by clubs and it’s a great opportunity for them to put themselves in the shop window in a fantastically competitive league.

“Our fans are coming to sell the stadium out and that tells me there’s an excitement and expectation among the crowd.

“We need to enhance that and deliver a product that makes everyone go away from the ground excited about the future of this football club.”

For more of the manager's thoughts ahead of tomorrow's game, click here.

What's the form guide?

Forest have had a mixed bag of results during their pre-season schedule but did round things off with an impressive 1-0 win over Premier League side West Bromwich Albion on Saturday thanks to Matty Fryatt's (pictured) first goal for the club.

During pre-season the Reds recorded wins over Ilkeston, Porto B, York City and West Brom but suffered defeats to Rio Ave, Rotherham and MK Dons along the way. 

Blackpool's tumultuous pre-season campaign has seen them play only two matches all summer, a 4-0 win at Penrith and a 1-0 home reverse against Premier League new boys Burnley.

Manager Jose Riga cancelled the club's pre-season tour to Spain to focus on player recruitment back at Bloomfield Road and there are concerns among the Seasiders faithful that their side could be unprepared heading into tomorrow's clash.

Haven't we met before?

In the last meeting between the two sides, Jamaal Lascelles' first league goal for Forest earned them a share of the spoils at Bloomfield Road.

Are tickets available?

Tickets for Stuart Pearce's first league game in charge of Nottingham Forest are now sold out.

For information new ticket collection points at The City Ground, click here.

What if I can't make the game?

Live audio commentary will be available on Forest Player, as well as free live text commentary on and via @Official_NFFC on Twitter.

Forest Player will also have extended match highlights from 12pm on Sunday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp.

Is there a programme?

The official matchday programme is available to buy and download for Saturday’s meeting with Blackpool.

In this edition, priced £3, Stuart Pearce pens his first programme notes as Forest manager, chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi gives his thoughts ahead of the new season while there are feature interviews with Ben Osborn and Matty Fryatt.

The Guardian’s chief sports writer Danny Taylor and comedian Matt Forde will both be writing columns in the programme this season. Read their thoughts on the opening day of the season and much, much more tomorrow.

Forest fans are reminded that they can download the official matchday magazine to their iPad. Perfect for supporters who are unable to attend the game, the download can be accessed via this app from 2pm onwards on Saturday.

Hard copies will be available from all the usual outlets around The City Ground.

What are the odds?

Nottingham Forest are the overwhelming favourites to taste victory on the opening day and can be backed at 2/7 with Sky Bet while a shock win for Blackpool has odds as long as 17/2.

Matty Fryatt opened his Forest account with the winner over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and he is priced at 3/1 to be the first goalscorer in the game with new signing Britt Assombalonga priced 7/2 for the same achievement.

For any supporters looking for some extra value, Forest can be backed at 5/2 to score two or more goals in the first half or at 7/2 to score inside the first ten minutes of the contest.

Please visit for all the latest odds for tomorrow's game.

Who is in charge?

Referee: Tony Harrington
Assistant Referees: Philip Dermott and Jonathan Hunt
Fourth Official: Mark Griffiths

Who else is playing?

Blackburn v Cardiff (Friday, kick-off 7:45pm)
Brentford v Charlton
Brighton v Sheffield Wednesday
Derby v Rotherham
Huddersfield v Bournemouth
Middlesbrough v Birmingham
Millwall v Leeds
Watford v Bolton
Wigan v Reading
Ipswich v Fulham (Saturday, kick-off 5:15pm)
Wolves v Norwich (Sunday, kick-off 4pm)

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