Nottingham Forest have been widely tipped as outsiders for promotion ahead of recent Championship editions, but summer stasis at the City Ground has prompted speculative punters to look elsewhere this term.
As a result, the Tricky Trees find themselves way down the outright betting to skip the second-tier wall this season; their price of 7/1 is just one point shorter than that of opening weekend opponents Brighton, strugglers for much of the previous campaign, to achieve the same goal.
This being the case, it comes as no surprise to see Dougie Freedman’s men relatively friendless for their south coast sojourn, afforded a monster 11/5 to prevail at the AmEx Stadium.
But don’t be duped by the beefy price, for Forest have tended to flourish in the early exchanges this decade and Brighton have hardly strengthened to the extent that suggests major improvements this term.
With the exception of veteran frontman and Seagulls legend Bobby Zamora, Chris Hughton has almost exclusively recruited unknown quantities for the season ahead.
Forest’s squad has retained the bulk of the talent that made them promotion outsiders in previous campaigns and, more importantly, they haven’t leaked a goal on match day one since champagne christened the boughs of the 2010/11 instalment.
That’s four years on the spin in which they’ve kept clean sheets, with a total of ten points recorded across this spell.
Much like their opening fixture form, Forest haven’t lost on any of their previous three visits to Brighton either, making their 4/1 win to nil price an especially appealing one.