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Match Previews


18 August 2016

Early team news, Forest focus and more.

  • Latics travel to Nottingham Forest for second away day of the season.
  • Gary Caldwell's side hoping to build on consecutive home matches.
  • New signings Luke Garbutt and Jordi Gomez could be in contention.

Sky Bet Championship
Nottingham Forest v Wigan Athletic
Saturday 20 August 2016, kick off 3.00pm
at the City Ground


Latics head to Nottingham Forest in high spirits following Tuesday's late Craig Davies equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Birmingham City at the DW Stadium, a second consecutive game unbeaten following on from the comprehensive 3-0 beating of Blackburn Rovers last Saturday.

Craig Davies celebrates his late equaliser on Tuesday.

Gary Caldwell's side get their second bite at opening their away account at the City Ground, having dramatically lost out 2-1 late on in the opening match of the Sky Bet Championship season at Bristol City earlier this month.

Back-to-back away defeats at Brentford (0-1) on Tuesday and Brighton & Hove Albion (0-3) last Saturday haven't been the perfect preparation for Forest's return to the City Ground, but they can certainly take positives from the season so far, having won 4-3 against Burton Albion at home on the opening day of the season, before a 2-1 away win against Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Cup.


The big question for Latics will be whether returning favourite Jordi Gomez is ready in time for the trip to Forest after re-joining Latics on Wednesday morning following two seasons at Premier League side Sunderland.

Jordi Gomez unveiled on Tuesday.

Everton defender Luke Garbutt could also be in line for his Latics debut, having joined on loan until January ahead of Tuesday's draw against Birmingham.

Latics still have four confirmed absentees through injury, with Donervon Daniels undergoing knee surgery on Wednesday and as Reece James (ankle), Andy Kellett (knee) and Kyle Knoyle (elbow) also sidelined, whilst Jake Buxton serves the final game of his suspension following a red card against Oldham Athletic in the EFL Cup.

Forest could see Britt Assombalonga return to their starting XI, having featured from the bench at Griffin Park on Tuesday after a set back in the opening matches.


Former Rennes, Real Sociedad, Valenciennes and Boulogne manager Philippe Montanier was appointed to lead Forest into the new season back in June of this year, with the club recruited seven new faces under his stewardship.

New Forest boss Philippe Montanier.

After the confirmed departures of Robert Tesche, Kelvin Wilson and Chris Burke at the end of their contracts and veteran midfielder Andy Reid's retirement, the City Ground needed a boost of new blood, receiving it in the shape of former Everton striker Apostolos Vellios from Iraklis Thessaloniki and wide man Armand Traore from QPR, along with Stephen Henderson (Charlton Athletic) and Damien Perquis (Toronto FC), Thomas Lam (PEC Zwolle), as well as Hildeberto Pereira (Benfica) and Pajtim Kasami (Olympiacos) on loan.

2015/16 Player of the Season Dorus de Vries recently left the club for Scottish Premiership champions Celtic.

FOREST IN 2015/16

Position: 16th
Points: 55
Points above relegation zone: 15
Points below play-offs: 19

Dougie Freedman's tenure at Forest came to an end during the last campaign, exiting the City Ground in March 2016 after five losses from six, culminating in a 3-0 home defeat against Sheffield Wednesday leaving them nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Caretaker Paul Williams saw his side continue to struggle, winning just two from the final 10 games of the season, but enough to steer Forest well clear of the drop by steadying the results and ending the season unbeaten in the final five matches.

Williams wasn't helped by the injury to top goal scorer Nelson Oliveira just days after taking over on a temporary basis, with the Portugal international, on loan from Benfica, having scored nine times previously.

2015/16 top scorer Nelson Oliveira.

Forest struggled for goals in a mid-table finish which saw them as the division's fourth lowest scoring team, certainly feeling the lengthy absence of 2014/15 leading marksman Britt Assombalonga who suffered a devastating knee injury against Latics in February 2015.

The talisman returned towards the end of the last campaign, scoring against MK Dons for his first Forest goal since the meeting with Latics.


Forest and Latics have only met eight times in the league, all of which have been in the second tier resulting in an even split of two victories each and four draws.

There has only been one meeting outside of the league, edging the head-to-head record in Latics' favour thanks to a 4-1 away victory in the League Cup in August 2012.

Our first meeting with Forest came back in November 2003, a 2-2 draw at the JJB Stadium which saw Josh Thompson cancel out Nathan Ellington's opener, before Andy Liddell cancelled out Marlon Harewood in the second half.  The draw kicked off a run of four matches without victory for Latics.

Andy Liddell celebrates his equaliser in 2003.

Latics' first win came in the aforementioned League Cup clash, a dominant display with goals from Mauro Boselli, Maynor Figueroa, Jordi Gomez and Callum McManaman, marking the start of Gomez's affinity for stunning goals at the City Ground.

Victories in the next two meetings the following season saw the Spanish midfielder net the winning goal in our 2-1 August 2013 home meeting, before once again rocketing in a wonder goal away from home in another 4-1 thrashing in March 2014.

Latics have been winless since, with Forest winning comfortably in the last meeting in February 2015 as Assombalonga, Chris Burke and Henri Lansbury eased their side to a 3-0 victory.

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