Forest Green Rovers vs Sutton United preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo by Alex Burstow / Getty Images

After a hectic summer, Sutton United will begin their first ever League Two campaign when they take on Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn stadium on Saturday. 

Since gaining promotion from the National League in May, the Yellows have made six new additions to their squad as well as seeing 15 players sign contract extensions as they prepare for their debut season in the Football League. 

Forest Green on the other hand, will be looking for a quick start to the campaign as they aim to mount another promotion challenge after losing in last years play-off semi-final

The Gloucestershire side also come into the opening tie with a brand new manager, with former England under 16's coach Rob Edwards taking charge after caretaker boss Jimmy Ball was let go following the play-off defeat. 

  • Team news 

Green Devils Head Coach Edwards has brought five new signings into his side since being appointed, the most notable of which likely being former Wolves midfielder Ben Stevenson

The 24-year-old box-to-box player joins after making 97 appearances for Colchester United in League Two over the last three years and seems likely to make his debut in front of the Rovers faithful this weekend. 

Edwards will also have new additions Opi EdwardsSadou DialloRegan Hendry and Jack Aitchison all in contention as they look to make a flying start to the 2021/22 season. 

For the visitors, however, the biggest story of the summer has not been who they have brought in but the players they have managed to keep, with nearly all of last seasons promotion winners choosing to stay.

Last years ever-present goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, wingers David Ajiboye and Will Randall, captain Craig Eastmond along with striker Omar Bugiel all penned new deals during the off-season and will be available for the trip to Forest Green

Boss Matt Gray also has  a host of new signings to pick from including former Notts County wide-man Enzio Boldewijn and experienced attacker Richie Bennett

The biggest miss for Sutton though, will be former loanee and last seasons top-scorer Isaac Olaofe who returned to parent club Millwall following the conclusion of last season. 

  • Predicted line-ups 

Forest Green Rovers 

McGhee, Wilson, Bernard, Stevenson, Aitchinson, Allen, Matt,  Moore-Taylor, Hendry, Godwin-Malife, Diallo.

Sutton United

Bouzanis, Barden, Milsom, Eastmond, Goodliffe, John, Ajiboye, Smith, O Bugiel, Bennett, Boldewijn.

  • Ones to watch 

Jamille Matt (Forest Green Rovers)

With 17 goals last season, Jamille Matt proved himself throughout the 2020/21 campaign to be the most dangerous element of the Rovers attack. 

The 31-year-old has been one of the most consistent goal scorers in the lower leagues for almost half a decade and now, as Greens captain, he will need little to get him fired up going into the new campaign. 

Enzio Boldewijn (Sutton United)

The 28-year-old Dutchman joined the Yellows this summer with a serious level of non-league pedigree having hit 21 goals in 123 games for Notts County over the last three years. 

Boldewijn has frightening amounts of pace and skill while dribbling with the ball and can easily terrorise any defence on his day. 

If Sutton are to make a success of their first season in League Two, then Boldewijn will without doubt have to be a key part. 

  • What the managers said 

Ahead of the game, Rob Edwards said:

"We’ve had four and a half weeks of build-up, so it feels like it’s been a long time coming. 

"We want to improve on last year and I don’t think any expectation will hinder us, it needs to be embraced and we need to feel confident. 

"I’m really humbled and honoured because this is a fantastic football club, and I’m really excited to be a part of it on Saturday."

Matt Gray had his say ahead of the opening game of the campaign:

”We want to enjoy it, but you only enjoy it when you win.

"We're coming up full of confidence, we've been on a great run last season.

"We just want to keep that consistency and continuity on the pitch."

  • How to watch 

The game will begin at 15:00 BST on Saturday 7 September.

Due to a decsion by the EFL, games will no longer be streamed via the iFollow service in the UK. 

Tickets for the game can still be purchased from the respective club websites.