The Thursday Preview: Burnley Vs Nottingham Forest

Posted by on Aug 5, 2010 in The Thursday Preview | No Comments

First weekend of the new season, first Thursday Preview since we decided to expand our remit (or, rather, our respective clubs decided for us). Do we go for a League 2 fixture straight away or stick to our Championship guns? Such was the dilemma of the week. Romantics will fix their invariably misty eyes to the league in between and the still unlikely-seeming clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Dagenham and Redbridge. But this stone-hearted Unfortunate can’t see past the most intriguing contest of the Championship list, between the returning Burnley and the never-departed Nottingham Forest.

The pre-season activities of the two clubs could not have been in greater contrast. While the Clarets made the most of those generous parachute payments to add guile to a squad that performed so admirably for at least half of the Premier League season just gone, Forest fans have bemoaned a lack of entrants to replace those exiting. Manager Billy Davies remains committed to the cause, though, and an initial bid for 2009/10 golden boot Peter Whittingham suggests that reinforcements are on their way.

Separation in the year past makes it difficult to compare the two teams, with the home side effecting a change of manager and of playing staff since the last league meeting at Turf Moor. That was one to forget for the East Midlanders, and even the late arrival of ex-Mad Stad loanee Ryan Bertrand will fail to block visions of Wade Elliott and Ross Wallace piercing the defence with similar impunity. Nevertheless, the present Forest back-line – though new-built – is well fortified and a repeat drubbing is not one for the weekend’s betting slip. Instead, I’m expecting exemplary passing and movement in what ought to be the most tightly matched contest of the Championship weekend.

If only the Beeb had followed us and chosen this one to begin its coverage. A match between two contenders would have been much more palatable than the tired Clough references we’ll be served on Saturday evening.

As a kid, Stanley undertook an odyssey around the football grounds of London and North Kent before alighting at Millwall. Despite the efforts of Jason Dair and many others, as an adult he decided to move closer to the arena erroneously known as the New Den and is now a proud season-ticket holder.

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