There’s two extremely intriguing ties to kick off the new Championship season as Nottingham Forest take on Millwall from the City Ground, while Sunderland take on Derby, with both fixtures now available to watch.
Forest fans will be hoping all their off field problems can finally be put to bed as they entertain newly promoted Millwall at the City Ground tonight, and they should be hopeful that they can improve this season having only survived the drop & relegation on goal difference.
With the disruptive owner Al-Hasawi now giving way to the new ownership of Evangelos Marinakis, the club can look forward with renewed optimism and their off field problems look to be behind them.
The trend of ‘out with the old, in with the new’ continued with the sale of Britt Assombalonga to Middlesbrough in a £15m deal during the summer, which freed up much needed funds for manager Mark Warburton to bring in a few fresh faces during the off season.
It’s certainly been a busy transfer window, with Daryl Murphy arriving from Newcastle, as well as Jason Cummings, winger Barrie McKay, right back Tendayi Darikwa, & Greek midfielder Andreas Bouchalakis all added to the squad, in what looks a young, hungry outfit, with a few Championship veterans added for good measure.
Jason Cummings could well make a difference, having been top scorer in the Scottish Championship, bagging 19 goals for Hibernian, while Daryl Murphy topped the goalscoring charts in the 2014-15 Championship season, smashing 27 goals for Ipswich Town, so there definitely looks to be goals amongst the current Forest squad.
Of course, Warburton has excellent managerial pedigree at this level, taking Brentford to a Championship playoff spot in the 2014-2015 season and there are genuine hopes amongst all in Robin Hood country that he can achieve the same feat this season, and he has certainly looks to have invested the Assombalonga money wisely.
Millwall had a remarkable season last time out, finishing in sixth place in League One and securing their place in the Championship through a playoff final victory.
Neil Harris has moved quietly during the summer. Steve Morison remains their talismatic man up front, but there have been several additions to the squad, with Jake Cooper arriving from Reading, Jed Wallace & George Saville from Wolves, while Tom Elliott & Ryan Tunnicliffe have also made the move to the Den.
There are many pundits and fans who quite fancy Nottingham Forest to do quite well this season, and 11/10 on the home win simply looks too big to miss out on, even if this is the opening game of the season.
One things for certain : It should prove to be a exhilarating match with plenty of atmosphere – Forest have already confirmed that they’ve sold 25,000 tickets while Millwall will take a travelling support of over 2,000, so the City Ground is certain to be ‘jumping’.
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