Nottingham Forest face West Brom at the City Ground as both sides look for their first win of the season at the second time of asking. Forest could only muster a draw at Bristol City in their opening game, whilst West Brom will still be reeling from their home defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers.
Nottingham Forest v West Brom
Forest at the City Ground
Nottingham Forest have lost their opening home league match of the season in just one of their past 21 seasons, though that solitary defeat did come against the Baggies in 2009/10. They’ve won each of their last six opening league games at the City Ground and will be hoping to continue that trend.
Expectations have risen around Forest following a summer of spending. Aitor Karanka has spent around £25 million on a team he feels is capable of beating every single team in this league. Karanka’s side failed to impress in the first half of their opening game. The Spaniard revealed that he was furious with his team’s attitude and application in the opening 45 minutes at Ashton Gate. His interval roasting at least inspired an improved second-half performance, allowing Forest to recover a point.
West Brom Improvement Needed
Albion enjoyed over 70% possession and fired in 20 attempts at The Hawthorns but managed only three on-target efforts. This, coupled with their sub-standard defending at set-pieces, must be improved upon if they are to avoid a repeat of their defeat to Bolton on Saturday.
The arrival of Dwight Gayle on loan from Newcastle United will help with goals, the striker having bagged 36 goals in 61 appearances at Championship level. It’s to be seen whether he will play a part against Forest having only completed his move on Monday. If Darren Moore does involve his new acquisition, it will be a major boost to his Albion side.
Striker Lewis Grabban, who joined Nottingham Forest for about £6 million in the summer, may start after coming off the bench in Saturday’s draw at Bristol City. Midfielder Joe Lolley, who impressed late on at Ashton Gate, may also play.
West Brom will hope to have striker Dwight Gayle available whilst James Morrison and Gareth Barry are among the options for potential recalls after Saturday’s loss to Bolton.
Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Dawson, Fox, Osborn, Watson, Guedioura, Lolley, Antunes Carvalho, Cupido Goncalves, Grabban.
West Brom: Johnstone, Gibbs, Hegazi, Bartley, Nyom, Barnes, Livermore, Brunt, Phillips, Rodriguez, Robson-Kanu.
West Brom were so bad in the final third on Saturday, it looked more than just an off day. They may struggle again up against this Forest side.
Nottingham Forest 1-0 West Brom