The Premier League resumes on Friday when Nottingham Forest host Sheffield United in the Week 2 curtain-raiser – but fans in the United Kingdom won't be able to watch.
Both teams are seeking their first wins of the new campaign after each came up empty in their returns to the English top flight. Steve Cooper's men came up empty at the Emirates and lost 2-1 despite a valiant comeback attempt, while the Blades' first top-flight fixture in two years ended in a 1-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace.
It was only last year that Forest and Sheffield United last came into contact as the former ended its 23-year absence from the Premier League. And Cooper & Co. only just made their way past Paul Heckingbottom's side following a penalty shootout win in the Championship play-off semi-finals.
But any UK-based spectators hoping to witness a repeat of that action on Friday will go wanting after it went missing on the broadcast schedule. The omission is for good reason, though, after the fixture was subject to a late change in timing.
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Forest had been scheduled to host the Blades on Saturday (Oct. 19), but the game was moved up because of a clash with The Hundred. Trent Rockets will host Birmingham Phoenix at Trent Bridge on Saturday, and authorities decided to space out the matches due to fears concerning 'security fears and potential heavy congestion' around Nottingham.
The fixture change was announced back in early July but will nonetheless be missing from British airwaves. However, the Championship clash between Leeds and West Brom will be televised on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football.
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If it's any consolation to supporters, the match wouldn't have been televised in the UK had it stuck with its original slot of 3pm on Saturday. The 3pm blackout was first introduced in the UK in 1960 to encourage attendance at lower-league fixtures and still remains in place today.
There's pressure on both teams to take maximum points at the City Ground given their slow starts to the new season. However, Forest will feel a particular burden to earn victory at home given Sheffield United are among the favourite to be relegated back to the second tier this term.
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The Blades managed to hit the target just once last Saturday as Odsonne Edouard's second-half strike made the difference for Palace. Wes Foderingham was forced to make no fewer than seven saves in front of his own fans, and a talented Forest will hope to test the United stopper once more in his first Premier League road trip.
Cooper's squad has changed a lot since Sheffield United beat them 2-1 at the City Ground in May 2022, while Heckingbottom perhaps could have done with some more signings this summer. And Forest will be eager to impress in their first home match of the new season, having held just 21.7% of the ball en route to defeat at Arsenal last time out.
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