Burton Albion make their Championship debut on Saturday when they travel to East Midlands to face the ever present Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
It was not so long ago that Burton were competition in the English non-League football. But year 2009 was significant as they earned promotion to the Football League. Six years since then, they are just one division below England’s top tier.
This is a good old fairly tale, but the real test start on Saturday. And their manager is a familiar name for Forest fans, Nigel Clough, who spend nine years with Forest since joining them as a youth player.
The merry go round of managerial circus continue at Nottingham Forest and now they have brought in Philippe Montanier from Ligue 1 club Rennes. He is the third boss in charge since the departure of Stuart Pearce on February 2015. They finished 16th in the standings at the end of 2015/16 season.
The appointment of Montanier is an ambitious decisions and the French boss didn’t waste any time to start building a competitive squad. But he had brought in a number of relatively unknown foreign talents. It remains to be seen if the squad can gel within a short period of time.
Nottingham Forest vs Burton Albion: Head-to-Head
There are no records of previous meetings between Nottingham Forest and Brighton Albion.
Nottingham Forest vs Burton Albion: Prediction
Burton had a busy pre-season and played 10 friendlies in the summer window, mostly against lower division clubs. They ended up with 5 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses. Among them are a notable 3-0 win against Premiership side Stoke City and 1-1 draw against QPR. Their fitness will be good and are a more settled side.
While Nottingham won in 3 and lost 2 of the friendlies they played during the pre-season. Despite the results the new coach coupled with a number of new arrivals could create a problem against a highly motivated minnows like Burton. The hosts will be favourites on paper, but I do see an outside chance of a big upset here.
A former two time European Cup winner have been struggling in the lower levels of English football in recent years and even a big financial investment has not been helpful to Nottingham Forest. That is partly down to an owner who loses patience with managers far quicker than he perhaps should and it is now the turn of Philippe Montanier to take charge of the club.
At least the recent transfer embargo has been lifted so Nottingham Forest have been able to bring in new faces to help them push up the table after a disappointing 16th place finish last season. They struggled at the City Ground where they finished with a 7-8-8 record in the Championship which is good for the 18th best home record last season.
Nottingham Forest ended last season with a 5 game unbeaten run behind them and they won 2 of their last 3 which snapped a run of 8 games without a win. However the side won just 1 of their last 10 home games in the League and Nottingham Forest didn't have much momentum behind them at the end of the 2015/16 campaign having lost 6 of their last 9 here.
The Tricky Trees have fallen lower and lower in the Championship in each of the last three seasons.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was doing an excellent job at Burton Albion following on from Gary Rowett's strong work, but his departure saw a mini-slump in form that saw the side finish with the 7th best record in League One over the second half of the season. Nigel Clough returned to the club and the slump didn't prevent Burton Albion from earning their promotion to the Championship behind Wigan Athletic.
That also means Burton Albion have back to back promotions behind them from League Two through to the Championship, the highest level they have ever competed at. Unsurprisingly they are favourites from the drop and Burton Albion's away performances will be tough having lost 9 of 23 at League One level on their travels last season.
Burton Albion might have ended last season with a 5 game unbeaten run behind them, but they did only win 2 of their last 9 games in League One to almost fall over the promotion line. The side did lose half of their final 6 away games in League One and Burton Albion won 3 of their last 9 on their travels.
Nigel Clough has brought in a number of new faces to the squad to try and bring the talent level up to compete with a very tough Division. Goals is going to be the key for Burton Albion after finishing 15th in League One in terms of goals scored.
Head to Head
This is the first time Nottingham Forest and Burton Albion will play one another.
There has been enough money pumped into the Nottingham Forest squad for them to have been expected to have achieved much better than they have in recent seasons. Rarely have Nottingham Forest threatened to earn promotion to the Premier League and they look like a team that potentially struggles this season as they get used to a new voice from the manager's office.
Nottingham Forest might not want to be in the Championship, but Burton Albion will be very proud of their achievements having earned back to back promotions from League Two to this level. It is the highest Division in which Burton Albion have played, but the second half of the season form in 2016 has to be a concern for them.
This is an unforgiving Division with teams with huge budgets compared with Burton Albion and I am not surprised the latter are favourites for relegation.
Nigel Clough will get a warm reception from the Nottingham Forest fans, but might find himself under pressure as manager here if Burton Albion make a poor start to the season. Their away form wasn't that good at the back end of last season and scoring goals is likely to be a big problem for them at this level.
They might be facing a team that had a poor home record last season, but Nottingham Forest did beat 5 of the 8 teams that finished below them last season. I would expect Nottingham Forest to finish above Burton Albion and I think the former European Cup winners have more goals in the side than their visitors and that can make odds against quotes for a home win worthy of a small interest.
Home » Bet365 » English League Championship 2016 » Nottingham Forest vs Burton Albion » Nottingham Forest vs Burton Albion Live Stream, Preview and Prediction English League Championship 2016