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Match Previews


4 August 2016

AUGUST is always associated with the start of the football season, where teams start the season with fresh optimism.

We look ahead to what sides the Brewers face in their first month in the Championship.


The Brewers first ever match in the Championship will be played against former European Cup winners Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on the 6th of August.


Nigel Clough will certainly be relishing the game for a number of reasons. One because he is a former player and two because his father the late Brian is Forest’s most successful manager in their history.


Forest who finished last season in 16th under Paul Williams who took over from Dougie Freedman have changed their manager since the end of the season.


To many Forest fans it was a surprise when Philippe Montanier was announced as manager, the first non-British guy to take over the reigns at the East Midlands club.


Montanier a stranger to many English fans but having successfully guided Real Sociedad in Spain to Champions League football, many see his appointment as a positive one for the Reds.


The Frenchman has been busy adding seven new signings to his squad and will be hoping to be the man to change the fortunes at the club.


After the game against Forest, Albion’s first game of the season at home is against Bury in the EFL cup which takes place on the 10th of August. Bury, a side who were a bit of a bogey side for the Brewers last season as ‘the Shakers’ took 4 points off of them last season.


Many fans will remember the game back in April at the Pirelli when on-loan striker Tyler Walker scored a last gasp equaliser after Hamza Choudhury was sent off for two bookings.


After the Bury match on the Wednesday, Bristol City will be the first Championship side to arrive at The Pirelli.


City, who finished last season in 18th after Lee Johnson joined them from Barnsley will be looking to build on last season having only been promoted in May 2015. Johnson, a former player that Nigel Clough knows from having him on loan at Derby in 2010, is touted by many to be a good young manager.


Bristol City will be hoping to keep hold of the in demand striker Jonathan Kodjia who scored 18 goals for the side last season and to help them achieve another good year.


They are an ambitious side with their manager Johnson saying the other day that he hoped “they would be playing Europa League football within five years.”


After Bristol City, the Brewers will welcome last years’ losing play-off finalists Sheffield Wednesday on the 16th.


Many people believe that Carlos Carvalhal’s side will once again be in and around the play-off spots come next May.


This is due to their incredible options in the forward department. They can call on the likes of Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper, Steven Fletcher, Lucas Joao and Atdhe Nuhiu who are certain to score many goals between them throughout the new campaign.


After three consecutive home games the Albion faithful will head on the road to Lancashire to visit Ewood Park, which is home to Blackburn Rovers.


Blackburn are a side that have sat around mid-table the last few seasons but have new hope under new manager Owen Coyle. Coyle who has managed Lancashire rivals Burnley and Bolton will have to win over Rovers fans by starting the season well.


They’ve replaced Jordan Rhodes who they sold in January with Danny Graham and Anthony Stokes who will be hoping to contribute. This will be the first time the two sides have ever met.


After Blackburn, if Burton manage to beat Bury in the EFL Cup their next tie in that competition will take place on the 22nd/23rd.


To end August, the Brewers will host local side Derby County who will travel 12.1 miles from the IPro Stadium to the Pirelli on Friday the 26th live on Sky Sports.


Under new management with Nigel Pearson replacing Darren Wassall, it will be interesting to many to see how they play this season.


The Rams once again will expected be in and around the top six, after narrowly missing out against Hull City in last seasons play-off semi-finals.


After a hectic August, Brewers will not be seen on the pitch until the 10th of September when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers away.


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