Nottingham Forest 2017/18 Season Preview: Strengths, Weaknesses, Key Man and Predictions

1. Last Season

Nottingham Forest’s 2016/2017 campaign was forgettable for many reasons as the Reds languished in the lower half of the table. 

However, the season did culminate in a memorable final day, as Forest survived on goal difference following a 3-0 win over Ipswich. Reds fans will hope to avoid any late stage drama this time round, and certainly look to improve on a 21st place finish.   

2. Transfers In

The majority of Reds supporters will be happy with transfer signings so far. 

Manager Marc Warburton signed a number of players early on in the window, including defender Tendayi Darikwa, midfielders Barrie Mckay, Kieran Dowell and Andreas Bouchalakis, in addition to new striking options Daryl Murphy and Jason Cummings.   

3. Transfers Out

The biggest disappointment for Forest this summer is the loss of top goalscorer Britt Assombalonga. 

The Reds were powerless to keep hold of their hitman, as Middlesborough flexed their financial muscle swooping in with a £15m bid.    

However, it looks as though the Reds will keep hold of other prized assets, so far retaining the services of talented youngsters Ben Osborn and Ben Brereton.   

4. Strengths

Forest head into the new campaign with greater depth than in previous years, particularly in the middle of the park. 

Options in the midfield area include talented youngsters Ben Osborn, Zac Clough, Matty Cash and Kieran Dowell midfielder, supported by the experienced Chris Cohen and David Vaughan. These options will suit the possession and passing football brought into the club by Marc Warburton, who begins his first full season at the helm.   

5. Weaknesses

Losing Britt Assombalonga is without doubt a blow to Forest’s attacking line. The Reds have replaced the Congolese forward with experienced striker Daryl Murphy, and exciting youngster Jason Cummings.    

However, goals may become a concern at the City Ground if the team is unable to adapt without Assombalonga’s presence up front.   

6. Key Man

Despite being only 22, Ben Osborn possesses significant Championship experience. The Englishman has already made 127 appearances for the Reds, and has demonstrated the maturity to play in a number of different positions.

Whilst his most natural is central midfield, Osborn has been successfully employed in the number 10 position, left midfield and at left wing-back.

Osborn is extremely composed with the ball and plays with an abundance of energy. His positive attitude and quality in the final third is likely to key to Forest’s success this season.  

7. Prediction

Reds fans will be hoping for more stability following the exit of Fawaz Al-Hasawi and the arrival of new owner Evangelos Marinakis. 

Additionally, a full season under the guidance of Marc Warburton will result in reason for optimism. Forest are unlikely to challenge for promotion this season; a top half finish would represent a successful campaign this time round.

Prediction: 10th

Prediction: 10th