Nottingham Forest face tough start to 2017/18 Championship season

Forest will face the likes of Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Fulham early on in the season.

Nottingham Forest face tough start to 2017/18 Championship season
How will Mark Warburton's side fare in the upcoming campaign? (picture: Getty Images / Nathan Stirk)

The 2017/18 Championship fixtures have today been released and Nottingham Forest face what looks to be a tricky start. They face the likes of Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Fulham early on. 

Forest supporters will be optimistic about the upcoming campaign under the new ownership of Evangelos Marinakis following a dismal five-year period under previous owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi. It will certainly be interesting to see how they fare in comparison to last season where they avoided relegation to League One with a 3-0 final day victory against Ipswich Town at The City Ground

An early test of credentials 

Mark Warburton's side begin their season on 5 August with a home game against Millwall at The City Ground following their victorious League One play-off campaign last season. This will then be followed by another home game against Shrewsbury Town in the newly-branded Carabao Cup on 8 August. 

Forest's first away game of the season will see them travel to London to take on Brentford at Griffin Park (12 August). The Reds then face three more games in August as they travel to Oakwell to face Barnsley (15 August), host newly-relegated Middlesbrough (19 August) and then host Leeds United who just missed out on the play-offs last season (26 August).

The month of September looks to be a very tough period and could be an early test of Forest's credentials. It kicks off with a trip to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday (9 September) which is always a difficult place to go. Forest will also face away games against Sunderland (12 September) and Aston Villa (23 September) during this month aswell as home games against Wolverhampton Wanderers (16 September), Fulham (26 September) and Sheffield United (30 September). 

The first East Midlands Derby comes around two months earlier than last season as Forest travel to Pride Park to face bitter rivals Derby County in October (14 October). The Rams will travel to The City Ground in the reverse fixture later on in the season (10 March).

The first East Midlands Derby takes place at Pride Park in October. (picture: Getty Images / Gareth Copley)
The first East Midlands Derby takes place at Pride Park in October. (picture: Getty Images / Gareth Copley)

A tasty festive period 

It certainly looks to be a mouth watering festive schedule for the Reds this season. In the lead up to Christmas, Forest face away games at Ipswich Town (2 December), Bristol City (16 December) and Preston North End (23 December) aswell as a home game against Bolton Wanderers (9 December). Forest will face Sheffield Wednesday at The City Ground on Boxing Day (26 December) before also hosting Sunderland four days later (30 December). The festive period is rounded off with a trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United on New Year's Day (1 January). 

The run-in towards the end of the season 

The month of March includes some tough looking fixtures for the Reds and it will be interesting to see where they are in the league table come this point of the season. Forest face home games against both Birmingham City (3 March) and Derby County (10 March). However, the Reds also face three difficult away matches at Norwich City (6 March), Sheffield United (17 March) and then Millwall (31 March). 

As the Reds enter the crunch period that is the month of April, the fixture list looks to have been kinder with quite a few matches against teams who finished around mid-table last season. They begin by hosting Barnsley (2 April) before a trip to Middlesbrough (7 April). Ipswich Town (14 April) and Bristol City (28 April) are both scheduled to visit The City Ground with an away game at Cardiff City (21 April) in between. 

Forest travel to face Bolton Wanderers on the final day. (picture: Getty Images / Michael Steele)
Forest travel to face Bolton Wanderers on the final day. (picture: Getty Images / Michael Steele)

Forest are due to end their season as they travel to the Macron Stadium to face Bolton Wanderers on 6 May. Will this final game be as important as it was last season? If it is, hopefully it is important for much different reasons with Forest pushing at the other end of the table. 

Full fixture list

August

Millwall (H) - 6th

Shrewsbury (H) - 8th (Carabao Cup)

Brentford (A) - 12th

Barnsley (A) - 15th

Middlesbrough (H) - 19th

Leeds United (H) - 26th

September

Sheffield Wednesday (A) - 9th 

Sunderland (A) - 12th

Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) - 16th

Aston Villa (A) - 23rd

Fulham (H) - 26th

Sheffield United (H) - 30th

October

Derby County (A) - 14th 

Burton Albion (H) - 21st 

Hull City (A) - 28th 

Reading (A) - 31st 

November

Queens Park Rangers (H) - 4th 

Birmingham City (A) - 18th

Norwich City (H) - 21st

Cardiff City (H) - 25th

December

Ipswich Town (A) - 2nd 

Bolton Wanderers (H) - 9th

Bristol City (A) - 16th

Preston North End (A) - 23rd

Sheffield Wednesday (H) - 26th

Sunderland (H) - 30th

January

Leeds United (A) - 1st

Aston Villa (H) - 13th 

Wolverhampton Wanderers (A) - 20th

Preston North End (H) - 27th

February 

Fulham (A) - 3rd

Hull City (H) - 10th

Burton Albion (A) - 17th

Reading (H) - 20th

Queens Park Rangers (A) - 24th 

March

Birmingham City (H) - 3rd 

Norwich City (A) - 6th

Derby County (H) - 10th

Sheffield United (A) - 17th

Millwall (A) - 31st

April

Barnsley (H) - 2nd

Middlesbrough (A) - 7th

Brentford (H) - 10th

Ipswich Town (H) - 14th

Cardiff City (A) - 21st

Bristol City (H) - 28th

May

Bolton Wanderers (A) - 6th 

Championship