To be played on Friday 7th August 2015 at 19:45. Venue: Amex Stadium, Falmer
Odds: Brighton 5/4, Draw 11/5, Forest 9/4
It is difficult to know what to expect from Brighton & Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest in 2015/16 on the back of a summer that has seen movement in and out at the Amex Stadium and the City Ground, but with little transfer activity to really excite or raise expectations.
Both will certainly be hoping to fare considerably better this time around than they did in the previous campaign, with two clubs that had grown accustomed to top-six challenges finding themselves in the bottom half of the table and under the guidance of different managers at the end of the season to those they started it with.
Chris Hughton and Dougie Freedman have, however, had plenty of time in which to find their feet and now have full pre-seasons behind them in which to have made their own mark and got their respective philosophies across.
There is still time for further tweaking to be made during the transfer window, but there is also the threat hanging over both sides that key men could be lured away to pastures new.
The Seagulls and Forest will be doing their utmost to ensure that does not happen, and early momentum built during the opening weeks of the campaign should help to instil confidence and prevent gazes from drifting to possible greener grass elsewhere.
Freedman will be hoping to see his side build on an impressive record at Brighton as they look to open the season in style on Friday, with the Reds having taken seven points from their last three visits to the south coast – including a 3-2 victory back in February.
He remains without the services of key men such as Chris Cohen, Andy Reid and Britt Assombalonga, but still has plenty of Championship quality at his disposal along with a few fresh faces, while Hughton has a number of players to bed in and must make a decision on whether to hand Bobby Zamora – whose experience could be vital this year – an immediate debut despite being short of full match sharpness.
- David Stockdale
- Gaëtan Bong
- Lewis Dunk
- Gordon Greer
- Beram Kayal
- Kazenga Lua Lua
- Solly March
- Dale Stephens
- Sam Baldock
- Tommer Hemed
“Most teams in this division can beat the better teams on any given day and what we certainly want to be doing is challenging, in or close to that top six.”
- Dorus de Vries
- Daniel Fox
- Eric Lichaj
- Matt Mills
- Kelvin Wilson
- Michail Antonio
- Henri Lansbury
- Ben Osborn
- Robert Tesche
- Jamie Ward
- Dexter Blackstock
“We are pleased with where we are. We have brought a few players in, we have added to what we have got. We feel as though we have made good additions.”