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Opposition Watch: Nottingham Forest

Get to know Saturday's opponents.

6 November 2020

Nottingham Forest host Wycombe Wanderers in the EFL Championship on Saturday 7th November 2020 at the City Ground in Nottingham. Let’s get to know our opponents:

The Club
Even though they have been out of the Premier League for the entire 21st century, Forest were a genuine force to be reckoned with during their heyday in the 70s. Nottingham Forest are often referred to simply as ‘Forest’, or ‘The Reds’. It is often written as Nottm Forest.

Since 2017, Forest have been owned by Evangelos Marinakis, who acquired the club from The Al-Hasawi family and in these three years, there have been five managers in the hot seat. On the sixth of October 2020, Sabri Lamouchi was sacked and replaced by Chris Hughton.

Forest have an impressive history of silverware, having won one league title (1977-78), four league cups (1977-78, 1978-79, 1988-89 and 1989-90), one Charity Shield (1978), two European Cups (now the Champions League, in 1978-79 and 1979-80)) and one UEFA Super Cup (1979).

Forest have competed in the top two tiers of English football in every season since their admission to the Football League with the exception of a five-year period in League One. Forest were relegated from the Premier League in 1999, and haven’t returned since.

Nottingham Forest’s fiercest rivalry is with Derby County, with whom they contest the ‘East Midlands Derby’ and compete for the Brian Clough Trophy, named after the manager who managed both clubs in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2011, the club opened a new state-of-the-art building at their training complex in West Bridgford, which cost £1,500,000. The building features ice baths, which aid recovery, a room with a large screen for watching previous matches and a new canteen. It also has an anti-gravity treadmill, in the gym, which will help injured players with their recuperation.

The Stadium
The City Ground is located in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, on the south east corner of Nottingham. Located on the banks of the River Trent, it has been home to Nottingham Forest Football Club since 1898. Holding a maximum capacity of 30,445, it was selected as a venue when England hosted Euro 96.

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The City Ground is only 300 yards from Meadow Lane, home of Forest’s neighbouring club, Notts County. The two grounds are the closest professional football stadiums in England and the second-closest in the United Kingdom after the grounds of Dundee and Dundee United. They are directly located on opposing sides of the River Trent.

The 2020/21 Kit
The 2020/21 Home Shirt is a crewneck in the classic ‘Garibaldi red’ (see below) with hem and sleeve trim in white and red. The back of the neck is personalized with the club logo and the emblem, “est.1865” - the birth date of Nottingham Forest - is printed on the outside back collar. The Macron Hero is embroidered on the right chest, and the Nottingham Forest crest is embroidered on the heart side of the shirt.  They also have white shorts with red trim and red socks with white trim.

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The current away jersey is a crewneck in Royal Blue with a Yellow stripe design inspired by the waves in the club's crest. The Macron Hero is embroidered on the right chest, and the Nottingham Forest crest is embroidered on the heart side. This is partnered with matching blue shorts and socks with yellow trim.

In 2020/21, Nottingham Forest also has a third kit - a crew neck featuring a Grey camo design.

This Season
Nottingham Forest have played 10 games this season so far and currently find themselves in 20th place in the EFL Championship. They have a goal difference if minus three, having scored eight goals and conceded 11,

Their last five games have been fruitful to the tune of six points. Last time out, Forest beat our Coventry City 2-1 with goals from Scott McKenna and Lyle Murphy. Before that saw a 1-0 defeat to Middleborough, and three consecutive 1-1 draws with Luton Town, Derby County and Rotherham United respectively.

Of the 10 games that Forest have played this season, only goalkeeper Brice Samba, midfielder Sammy Ameobi and striker Lyle Taylor have featured in every one. Samba is the only man to have started all 10 of the games. Taylor is the team’s top scorer this term with two goals, and Sammy Ameobi, Luke Freeman, Scott McKenna and Joe Lolley have all contributed a goal each. Ryan Yates pulls the strings in the Forest midfield, leading the assists charts with two.

The Reds will be without Joe Worrall (foot), Tyler Blackett (unspecified injury), Fouad Bachirou (hamstring) and Lewis Grabban (hip). Left-back Nicholas Ioannou serves the last game of his three match ban.

Chris Hughton is expecting a tough game this weekend. "We've watched them pick up some really good points. We've seen enough of them and we'll see more over the next couple of days, but it's hard when you have so many games to get a head start," he told Nottinghamshire Live.

Fun Facts about Nottingham Forest

  • Matt Smith, the man famous for being the eleventh man to embody Doctor Who, played for the Forest youth team with a young Jermaine Jenas. Some outlets report that he is a big Forest fan, although some say he supports Blackburn Rovers.
  • Between 1965 and 1997, English Goalkeeper Peter Shilton became the first football player to make 1,000 League appearances. He made 202 of them for Nottingham Forest.
  • Samuel Widdowson is the man credited with inventing the shin pad in 1874. He was a Nottingham Forest player at the time.
  • A major landmark was reached on February 9, 1979 when Trevor Francis, then 24, left Birmingham City and joined Nottingham Forest to become the first £1,000,000 signing. The transfer fee would reach £1.18m after taxes were applied.
  • Since their foundation in 1898, Nottingham Forest have been dressed in smart red shirts and matching red caps, establishing the official club colours as ‘Garibaldi Red’, named after the leader of the Italian freedom fighters known as the redshirts, who were universally popular in England at the time. In 1886 a complete set of red shirts was sent to two former Forest players who were setting up a team in London that would later become Arsenal.

Famous Fans
Despite heralding from Wales, Manic Streets Preachers front-man James Dean Bradfield is an avid supporter of the Reds. As part of the band, the 50-year-old has achieved seven top-five hits as well as 13 top-ten albums and is still participating in their tours around the world.

A huge Forest fan, Carl Froch won four world titles during his boxing career with his final fight against George Groves ending in a stunning knock-out victory at Wembley Stadium for the Cobra. Since retiring from the sport in 2014, the 42-year-old has taken up a punditry role with Sky Sports and is a regular contributor for their biggest events of the year.

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One of the most prolific golfers in the world, Lee Westwood has won 44 professional titles in his seasoned career. An avid follower of the Reds, the 46-year-old will be looking to win his first ever major championship when he participates in the Masters Tournament in April

Arguably already amongst England’s all-time greats, cricketer Stuart Broad has been seen supporting Forest at the City Ground on numerous occasions over the years. Having helped his country secure a 3-1 victory in their Test Series against South Africa last month, the bowler will be aiming to add to the 485 wickets that he has taken during his career to date when they face Sri Lanka in March.

The Badge
There is no record of an official badge or crest being in existence prior to the Second World War, but shortly after that Nottingham Forest adopted and adapted the City of Nottingham coat of arms, the only variation being that the letters NFFC replaced the “castle” in the original design.

The badge did not appear on the playing strip until about 1957. The arms were officially recorded by the Heralds in 1614. The shield depicts a rough, wooden cross in green rising out of the base of a red shield between two open crowns of gold with a similar crown round the lower limb of the cross. This design resembles that of Colchester but there is no reason to believe that they were adopted in allusion to St Helena. The ragged cross in the Nottingham arms refers to the Forest of Sherwood, to which the two supporting stags and the ragged staves also allude. The three crowns depict the city’s loyalty to the Royal crown.

Forest’s current, less controversial badge was created in 1973 and designed by David Lewis, a graphic artist. A Sherwood tree emerges from wavy lines, representing the river Trent.

Social Media
Nottingham Forest have a wide social media following, being present on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. They have a total of 936,423 followers across these channels at the time of writing, and they use their channels to promote club and player news and team updates as well as commercial and business activations.

Check them out:

Forest Website: https://www.nottinghamforest.co.uk/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialnffc
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NFFC
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/officialnffc/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/NFFCTube

Records

  • Most appearances for the club: 692 – Bob McKinlay (1951–1970)
  • Most goals for the club: 217 – Grenville Morris (1898–1913)
  • Highest attendance: 49,946 Vs. Manchester United in Division 1, 28 October 1967
  • Lowest attendance: 4,030 Vs. Morecambe in the Football League Cup, 13 August 2008
  • Quickest goal: 14 seconds,[142] Jack Lester vs Norwich City, 8 March 2000
  • Record win: 14–0 vs. Clapton (away), 1st round FA Cup, 17 January 1891
  • Record defeat:: 1–9 vs. Blackburn Rovers (home), Division 2, 10 April 1937
  • Largest transfer fee paid: £13,200,000 to Benfica for João Carvalho
  • Largest transfer fee received: £15,000,000 from Middlesbrough for Britt Assombalonga

How you can watch the Game
Wanderers fans inside the UK & Ireland can watch Saturday's Championship encounter with Nottingham Forest live on iFollow for £10, with passes available for overseas supporters at the price of £7.

Buying match passes to watch Championship games on iFollow is a great way to support your club, with Wanderers retaining 100%.

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