It’s early days in the new season but Nottingham Forest have yet to pick up any points. The Reds welcome Blackburn Rovers to the City Ground tonight, as Chris Hughton’s side look to make amends for Saturday’s 2-1 loss against Bournemouth. Francis Moore previews the game
It’s been a difficult start to the season for Chris Hughton’s side, who have lost both their league fixtures 2-1. Blackburn, on the other hand, have started the season better than expected – as their thin squad made many believe they would face a relegation battle this campaign.
So far, Tony Mowbray’s side have impressed, beating Swansea at Ewood Park on the opening day before drawing away at Millwall last weekend. It’s been a near-perfect start for Mowbray, who was rumored to be getting the sack after last season’s underwhelming 15th-place finish. Since then, Blackburn have seen a number of high-profile departures, with Harvey Elliott returning to Liverpool and Adam Armstrong, last season’s top-scorer, moving to Southampton.
Former Forest striker, Ben Brereton Diaz seems to be the key man for Rovers, having already scored twice this season. The 22-year-old impressed whilst playing for Chile in the Copa America, making the team of the tournament, and looks set to fill the boots of Armstrong.
Hughton faces a difficult run of fixtures coming up — with Stoke, Derby, Cardiff and Middlesbrough to follow — and tonight presents one of the better opportunities to get points on the board. Forest struggled against Bournemouth last weekend, and despite the Cherries having 10 men for half-an-hour, the Reds never looked like breaking them down. That result could prompt some changes in the side, with poor performances from Brice Samba, Joe Lolley and Jordan Gabriel putting them all in danger of losing their place in the starting line-up.
Hughton’s first game in charge of Forest came away at Ewood Park last October, when the Reds picked up their first points of the season with a win against Mowbray’s side. Despite the contrasting starts to the season, I don’t think there will be much in it tonight — I’d love to see Forest claim their first win, but I think it’s going to be a point a piece tonight.