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Kick off 17:30 (UK)

03 August 2019 Venue The City Ground Attendance

Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Nottingham Forest v Albion match preview

1 August 2019

Slaven Bilić takes charge of his first competitive Albion game as they open the 2019/20 campaign with a trip to face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday (ko 5.30pm).

Nottingham Forest

Their last outing

In their final pre-season game Forest had victory snatched away from them in the dying moments to draw 2-2 with Real Sociedad. 

Joe Worrall fired the Reds ahead before Roberto Lopez equalised for the visitors. Lewis Grabban put the hosts in front once more but was cancelled out late on by Nais Djouahra.

FOREST: Muric; Cash, Worrall, Dawson (c), Robinson; Watson, Semedo; Lolley, Silva (Ameobi 67), Adomah (Appiah 76); Grabban (Johnson 83).

In their dugout

Forest are managed by Sabri Lamouchi, who took over at the City Ground at the end of June following Martin O’Neill's dismissal.

Lamouchi’s appointment means they have been managed by three people in the space of a year, with Aitor Karanka in charge 12 months ago.

One to watch 

Front-man Grabban was Forest’s top scorer last term.

The strong striker netted 16 Sky Bet Championship goals, with their next highest goalscorer Joe Lolley finding the net 11 times.

A summer signing at the City Ground after two years at AFC Bournemouth, Lewis has scored over 100 league goals in nearly 300 appearances for 12 clubs.

2019_07_29 Lewis Grabban.jpg

Our last meeting

Jay Rodriguez scored late to earn Albion a 2-2 Sky Bet Championship draw in our last meeting with Nottingham Forest at The Hawthorns in February.

The visitors capitalised on a misplaced pass to register a sixth-minute lead as Ryan Yates converted from close range, though Stefan Johansen was unfortunate to get the final touch and credited with an own goal.

Jacob Murphy levelled for the Baggies in the 54th minute before Yates again put the away side ahead, but Rodriguez converted a last-gasp penalty to grab an important share of the spoils.

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  • The Baggies have won three times and drawn once in their last four league visits to the City Ground, conceding just a single goal.
  • Albion twice came from behind to earn points against Forest last term.
  • After an initial defeat to Villarreal Slaven Bilić's side went unbeaten during pre-season - beating Scunthorpe United 4-0, while drawing with Rotherham United (1-1) and AFC Bournemouth (0-0).


  • The Reds took three wins, a loss and two draws from their six pre-season fixtures.
  • Forest drew four of their first five Sky Bet Championship fixtures last term.
  • The most recent time Forest opened their campaign on August 3 was in 2013, beating Huddersfield Town 1-0 at the City Ground.

From the archive

Let's go back 16 years to 2003 when Albion recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory at the City Ground thanks to a Jason Koumas double and an own goal by Matthieu Louis-Jean...

Head to head

  Albion wins Draws Forest wins
League 51 25 40
FA Cup 4 7 4
League Cup 2 0 1
Total 57 32 45

2019_07_29 Krovinovic.jpg

Our man to watch

Filip Krovinović arrived at The Hawthorns this summer, joining from Benfica on a season-long loan.

Slaven Bilić's first signing as Baggies boss poked home a low finish after linking up with Oliver Burke in Scunthorpe, also whipping a corner into the near post for Dara O'Shea to head home at Rotherham United and earning positive reviews in the goalless draw against Bournemouth.

Man in the middle

The referee for Saturday’s match is Darren England, and he’ll be assisted by Nick Greenhalgh and Philip Dermott - with Oliver Langford as the fourth official.
England refereed Albion four times last season, including the Baggies' last visit to the City Ground.
Ticket news

Tickets for Albion's 2,000 seat allocation at the City Ground SOLD OUT after just three days of sales.

Thank you, as always, for your wonderful support!

Follow the game

Comprehensive coverage of the clash with Forest is available in our Match Centre, where you can listen to live commentary on WBA Radio or follow our live text feed.

WBA Radio is the only service that allows Baggies fans around the world - from Smethwick to the Sahara - access to uninterrupted live commentaries from every one of our competitive games. iFollow subscribers can join Gez Mulholland and Drew Williams for Baggies-biased live commentary on Saturday.

International supporters who have an iFollow subscription may be able to live stream the game depending on where they are located around the world. To find out, click here.

You’ll also be able to find score updates on the club's social media channels.

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Match Reports

Forest 1 Albion 2

3 August 2019

Slaven Bilić’s reign as Albion boss began with a memorable 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest.

The Baggies came from behind to claim all three points at the City Ground - ending the hosts’ 36-year unbeaten home record on the opening day.

Kyle Edwards pulled Albion level just seven minutes after Matty Cash’s opener before Matt Phillips fired in a “did-he-mean-it?” effort from 40 yards to give the Baggies the lead.

Albion had to face a ferocious start from Forest who came out the traps and had the Baggies pinned back for the first 10 minutes.

It brought them the lead when Cash sent a fierce shot from the edge of the area swerving beyond the outstretched left hand of Sam Johnstone.

But that proved to be the high point of Forest’s day. Albion’s smooth and cohesive football began to take control of the game and Phillips, returning to the scene of his stunning equaliser last season, was again the central figure in both goals.

Bilic 16-7.jpg

He snaked through a wonderful pass to Edwards for the first for the young winger to move inside and then out before smashing a left-foot shot through Aro Muric.

What proved to be the winner followed more sustained domination by the visitors although Phillips could not possibly have meant to beat Muric with an intended cross to the back post. But from a position tight to the touchline, Phillips’s kick curled over the keeper and into the far corner.

Phillips 16-7.jpg

Although a third goal eluded the team there was no doubting the merit of Albion’s victory as Johnstone enjoyed superb protection from his defenders to see off Forest’s rare moments of threat with Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley putting in a resolute shift.

It would be remiss to not also heap praise on 18-year-old debutant Nathan Ferguson who performed beyond his years at right-back. The Academy product's efforts earned him the Sky Sports Man of the Match award in his first outing.

Ferguson 16-8.jpg

The late injuries to Kieran Gibbs and Edwards were the only trouble for Albion at the end of a memorable opening day - but that didn’t stop the 2,000 Baggies fans hailing Slaven Bilic at the final whistle.

Albion: Johnstone; Ferguson, Ajayi, Bartley, Gibbs (Townsend 72); Livermore, Sawyers; Phillips, Krovinovic, Edwards (Harper 84), Zohore (Burke 63).

Subs not used: Bond, Furlong, Harper, Leko, O’Shea.

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