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Nottingham Forest Premier League 2023/24 season preview

After narrowly avoiding relegation last year following a timely flurry of wins at the end of the season, Nottingham Forest will be looking to carry their form into the new Premier League campaign.

Manager: Steve Cooper
Stadium: City Ground
Captain: Joe Worrall
Top League Scorer last season: Taiwo Awoniyi (10)
Last season's finish: 16th

Nottingham Forest 2023/24 odds


To Finish in Top Half - 4/1
To Finish in Bottom Half - 1/6
Not to be Relegated - 2/7
To be Relegated - 5/2
To Finish Bottom - 12/1

Nottingham Forest's 2022/23 performance

Promoted back to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years following victory in the Championship play-off final against Huddersfield, Nottingham Forest underwent a much-publicised extensive recruitment drive ahead of their return to the top flight last summer - signing a staggering 22 players.

Such an influx of new players perhaps contributed to what was a slow start to the Premier League campaign under Steve Cooper, with Forest winning just one of their opening 11 matches to place the Welsh manager under pressure.

Forest did start to pick up some form on the eve of the World Cup break, however, with a 1-0 victory in front of a bouncing City Ground a particular highlight as Cooper was backed by the club's hierarchy.

A terrific run of just one defeat in six matches following the Qatar World Cup helped Forest push up the table as the squad showed real signs of gelling, with the likes of Morgan Gibbs-White and Brennan Johnson starting to truly display their Premier League quality,

The Tricky Trees did suffer a further drop off in the spring to prompt relegation fears resurfacing, going 11 matches without a win, before an end-of-season flurry of three victories in their last six, including a memorable triumph over Arsenal, saw them secure their Premier League status.

Nottingham Forest 2023/24 prospects

Having flirted with relegation for the majority of the last campaign, Steve Cooper will be looking to stabilise Forest in the Premier League this season.

With last year's cohort of new signings now settled in and up to speed with the demands of the English top flight, Forest will be striving to push towards the mid-table positions this season given the level of talent within the squad.

In Taiwo Awoinyi they have a goalscorer whose end-of-season form last term bodes well for the new campaign, with the Nigerian hitting six goals in Forest's final four games of the season.

The target man will not be short of service either, with Morgan Gibbs-White contributing eight Premier League assists last season and Brazilian Danilo another key creative figure for Forest since arriving from Palmeiras in January.

Indeed it's clear the Reds possess considerable quality from middle to front, with perhaps defensive reinforcements in this summer transfer window providing the key to maximising Forest's prospects in the upcoming campaign having conceded 68 goals in the Premier League last season.

Nottingham Forest manager - Steve Cooper

A hugely popular figure at the City Ground, taking Forest from the foot of the Championship table to promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2021-22, it's fair to say Steve Cooper had a tumultuous season in the top flight last term as the Reds endured a topsy-turvy campaign.

Ex-Swansea manager Cooper will have benefited from this experience, his first season as a Premier League manager, as he sets about attempting to drive Forest up the table and free from relegation concerns.

A progressive manager who favours an approach based on being brave on the ball and controlling possession, Cooper is one of the most highly-rated British coaches in the game and led England's Under 17s to World Cup glory in 2017.

The 43-year-old, whose job security at Forest appeared precarious at multiple stages of last season, will be striving to elevate his managerial reputation further ahead of the new campaign by inspiring his charges towards a challenge for the top half as opposed to a battle to escape the drop.

Nottingham Forest Key Player - Morgan Gibbs-White

Arriving at the City Ground with a hefty price tag last summer, signed from Wolves for a club record fee which could rise to £42.5m, Morgan Gibbs-White proved to be an influential figure for the Reds as they were able to retain their Premier League status.

Ending last season almost in a free role in attacking midfield behind Awoniyi as part of Cooper's preferred 3-4-2-1 set up, Gibbs-White ended the campaign with a commendable 13 goal contributions - five goals and eight assists.

A technically gifted player who also possesses the strength and aggression required to stand up to the physical demands of the Premier League, Gibbs-White's form at the back end of last season was so impressive that his name began to be touted for a potential call-up to Gareth Southgate's England squad.

The 23-year-old will no doubt be harbouring ambitions of forcing his way into the senior international fold ahead of next summer's Euros in Germany, after starring for England's Under 21s in the off-season as Lee Carsley's side were crowned European champions in Georgia and Romania.

Nottingham Forest One to Watch - Danilo

One of Forest's 30 new signings across the 2022/23 season as a whole, 22-year-old Brazilian Danilo looks like he will prove to be amongst the most successful at the City Ground.

Signed for £16m from Palmeiras in January, Danilo enjoyed a hugely successful grounding in his homeland having won the Brazilian Serie A league title and two Copa Libertadores with his former club.

Capable of playing as a deep-lying playmaker or more of an advanced creator, Danilo ended the season linking up with Gibbs-White to great effect in attacking midfield behind Awoniyi as the team's focal point up front.

Having flown largely under the radar since his January arrival despite some eye-catching displays, Danilo could be set to emerge as one of the Premier League's breakout stars in his first full season for Forest.

Nottingham Forest transfers



  • Anthony Elanga (Manchester United - £15m)
  • Chris Wood (Newcastle United - £15m)
  • Ola Aina (Torino - Free)


  • Cafu (Rotherham - Free)
  • Jordan Smith (Stockport - Free)
  • Jesse Lingard (End of contract)
  • Andre Ayew (End of contract)
  • Jack Colback (End of contract)
  • Lyle Taylor (End of contract)
  • Adnan Kanuric (End of contract)
  • Renan Lodi (End of loan)
  • Keylor Navas (End of loan)

Nottingham Forest potential XI

(3-4-2-1): Henderson, Felipe, Worrall (c), Niakhate, Aurier, Yates, Mangala, Jakobs, Danilo, Gibbs-White, Awoniyi.

Nottingham Forest opening fixtures


Nottingham Forest's opening six Premier League fixtures for the 2023/24 season are as follows:

  • 12th August 2023 - Arsenal (A)
  • 18th August 2023 - Sheffield United (H)
  • 26th August 2023 - Manchester United (A)
  • 2nd September 2023 - Chelsea (A)
  • 18th September 2023 - Burnley (H)
  • 23rd September 2023 - Manchester City (A)

Nottingham Forest - last five seasons

The below table illustrates Nottm Forest's league finishes over the past five seasons:

SeasonLeague finish
2022/2316th (Premier League)
2021/224th (Championship)
2020/2117th (Championship)
2019/207th (Championship)
2018/199th (Championship)

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