Bristol City v Nottingham Forest preview
Last Updated: 03/08/18 11:14am
Striker Famara Diedhiou is banned for six games following a spitting incident against Birmingham at the end of last season.
The Robins failed in an appeal against the suspension and he will not be available until September. Goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa could make his debut against Nottingham Forest after signing from Brighton but Bailey Wright (quad) and Callum O’Dowda are doubts.
Marley Watkins, Andreas Weimann, Mo Eisa, Adam Webster, Jack Hunt and Hakeeb Adelakun are available for their Robins bows.
Forest’s record £13.2million signing Joao Carvalho is expected to make his debut at Ashton Gate. Defender Michael Dawson is ready after returning to his boyhood club from Hull this summer.
Luke Steele – who was released by Bristol City at the end of last season – joined Forest this week and is available. Jamie Ward, Michael Mancienne, Stephen Henderson, Zach Clough and Apostolos Vellios can all leave Forest and may not feature.
Since a run of 14 consecutive matches in all competitions without a home win against Nottingham Forest between 1976 and 2011, Bristol City have won each of their last four, scoring exactly twice in each win.
Nottingham Forest have lost five of their last seven Championship encounters with Bristol City (W1 D1).
Championship matches at Ashton Gate saw 69 goals scored in 2017-18 - only Hull's KC Stadium saw more (73) - with 15 goals scored in the final two matches there, a 5-5 draw with Hull and a 3-2 defeat to Sheffield United.
Current Nottingham Forrest manager Aitor Karanka has managed three Championship matches against Bristol City previously (D1 L2), winning none and failing to see his sides score in those games (Middlesbrough twice in 2015-16, Nottingham Forest in April 2018).
In each of the last two seasons, the team facing Bristol City on the opening day of the season has gone on to be relegated from the Championship - Wigan Athletic in 2016-17 and Barnsley in 2017-18.
Karanka will be the seventh different manager to take charge of Nottingham Forest in their last seven league trips to Ashton Gate since 2010-11 after Billy Davies, Steve Cotterill, Rob Kelly, Dougie Freedman, Philippe Montanier and Mark Warburton.
Both of these sides have had a very busy summer! Bristol City fell just short last season and have lost Bobby Reid and Aden Flint, but have also recruited very well and seem to be on a bit of an upward trajectory.
Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, have made some very promising signings and excitement is brewing at the City Ground. This should be a good game. Score draw.
David Prutton predicts: 2-2 (12/1 with Sky Bet)