To be played on Saturday 15th August 2015 at 15:00. Venue: City Ground, Nottingham
Odds: Forest 4/5, Draw 11/4, Rotherham 16/5
Having opened their 2015/16 campaign with back-to-back defeats in Championship and League Cup competition, Nottingham Forest will be desperate to kick-start their season at home to Rotherham United.
Dougie Freedman has spent much of the summer publicly addressing the need for players in his squad to stand up and be counted, with the club considered to have been carrying deadweight lacking in full commitment for too long.
He really needs to see those qualities coming to the fore, with a 4-3 reversal on home soil against League One outfit Walsall on Tuesday further highlighting his defensive deficiencies and an apparent lack of ideas as to how to put things right as a collective.
Changes will be made this weekend, with Forest having also failed to offer much in front of the television cameras as they opened the new season with a 1-0 setback at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Few may have been tipping a club still operating under the restrictions of a transfer embargo to push for a top-six finish this season but, taking into account events on and off the field at the City Ground over the course of the last week, the Reds need to rally together and ensure that they do not get dragged into a 46-game slog to steer clear of trouble.
Rotherham will be feeling the same, having silenced their doubters by cementing a second tier standing last term, but a 4-1 defeat to newly-promoted MK Dons saw them stumble out of the blocks and offers plenty of room for improvement.
They were at least able to dispose of lower league opposition in the Capital One Cup in midweek, with a narrow 1-0 victory over Cambridge United helping to raise spirits within the camp.
Larger-than-life coach Steve Evans will be aware that a lot of hard work lies ahead, though, and he will be looking towards the raft of former Forest men in his ranks – Greg Halford, Danny Collins and Matt Derbyshire – to offer a helping hand on Saturday.
- Dorus de Vries
- Jack Hobbs
- Eric Lichaj
- Michael Mancienne
- Matt Mills
- Michail Antonio
- Chris Burke
- Henri Lansbury
- David Vaughan
- Jamie Ward
- Dexter Blackstock
“The alarming thing is that we are conceding goals on a regular basis. It is not something I associate with my teams. But these mistakes are costing us dearly. That needs to change.”
- Kelle Roos
- Danny Collins
- Greg Halford
- Lee Frecklington
- Joe Newell
- Richard Smallwood
- Tom Thorpe
- Aidan White
- Jordan Bowery
- Matt Derbyshire
- Danny Ward
“We survived last year so it’s all about pushing on and seeing if we can get into mid-table, there’s no reason why we can’t.”