If last summer’s business was frenetic and perhaps a little scattered, Forest seems to have attracted attention this time. Just £5m for Callum Hudson-Odoi, £32m for PSV Eindhoven’s highly-rated Ibrahim Sangaré, plus Anthony Elanga, Matt Turner, Ola Aina, Andrey Santos, Divock Origi and Gonzalo Montiel, the all for relatively modest fees or loans in today’s market. . It’s telling that a lot of the players they signed are starters. The only negative was the loss of Brennan Johnson to Spurs, but £47m certainly helps balance the books.
Among all these new faces, it’s very comforting to see that Joe Worrall is still at the heart of Forest’s defence. His recent excellent performances are all the more impressive given that he suffered a family tragedy at the end of August: Worrall’s uncle was Police Sergeant Graham Saville, who died after being hit by a train while trying to save a man in distress. The captain plays for his boyhood club, but is not part of the starting XI for reasons of sentimentality. The 26-year-old is an excellent player and signed a new contract a week ago.
Nottm Forest: Turner, Aina, Worrall, McKenna, Montiel, Mangala, Sangare, Elanga, Hudson-Odoi, Gibbs-White, Awoniyi.
Submarines: Tavares, Kouyaté, Bois, Santos, Dominguez, Niakhate, Yates, Vlachodimos, Origi.
Burnley: Trafford, Al Dakhil, Beyer, Taylor, Roberts, Gudmundsson, Cullen, Brownhill, Koleosho, Amdouni, Foster.
Submarines: Cork, Rodriguez, Benson, Berge, Zaroury, Ramsey, Ndayishimiye,
Almost exactly a year ago, Nottingham Forest were in dire straits. Promoted to the Premier League a few months earlier, they had spent big in the summer – 21 new arrivals in total – but after a nervous start to the season they would spend September languishing at the bottom of the table. Shortly afterwards, following their fifth consecutive defeat (a 4–0 defeat at Leicester), manager Steve Cooper was put forward for sacking. Forest would end up staying up, Leicester would go down. This is football, friends.
Burnley aren’t quite in the same situation – manager Vincent Kompany still has the support of (most) fans and there have only been 15(!) new signings – but there are certainly similarities between the two clubs. Burnley are useless in the first three matches, but have had a difficult start (Manchester City, Aston Villa, Spurs): no one is ruling them out Make a forest just now.
In fact, their only competitive win of the season so far is… a 1-0 win at Forest in the League Cup. It’s not the sexiest date of the weekend, but it might just be a cracker.
Kick-off: 7:45 p.m. BST