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Why Aberdeen fans should be cheering on Nottingham Forest this weekend

Nottingham Forest's Scott McKenna battles for the ball with Sheffield United's Morgan Gibbs-White.
Nottingham Forest's Scott McKenna battles for the ball with Sheffield United's Morgan Gibbs-White.

Aberdeen don’t return to competitive action until a trip to Peterhead on July 10 but Dons fans have plenty of reasons to tune in for Sunday’s Championship play-off final.

Nottingham Forest take on Huddersfield Town at Wembley for a place in the English Premier League in what is dubbed the richest game in world football.

Steve Cooper’s Forest are bidding to end a 23-year Premier League absence having been relegated in 1999.

Promotion back to the English top flight would earn Forest or Huddersfield an estimated £170million, according to analysis by Deloitte.

And Aberdeen would also stand to gain if it is Forest who come out on top.

A clause in Forest defender Scott McKenna’s contract means the Dons will be due a lucrative sum if the Reds triumph at Wembley.

It is understood the Dons’ coffers could be boosted by a sum of up to £1million if the result goes the right way.

That could be a welcome boost to Dons boss Jim Goodwin who is in the middle of a major rebuild after a season to forget at Pittodrie.

McKenna made the move from the Dons to Forest in September 2020 for a club record fee of £3million which could reach £6million if certain clauses are met, including winning promotion to the English Premier League.

The Dons also agreed a 25% sell-on clause and could cash in again if McKenna moves on from the City Ground.

But on Sunday, there are plenty of reasons for the Dons to cheer on another team in red that has won two European trophies.

How has McKenna performed?

The Scotland international has become a big favourite of the Forest support.

He has enjoyed an excellent season, making 45 appearances and scoring two goals.

Only attacking midfielder Brennan Johnson has spent more time on the pitch for Forest this season than McKenna.

Former Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna. 

How is the play-off final going to go?

The game kicks off at 4.30pm on Sunday and looks set to be a tasty encounter.

Huddersfield finished third – two points above Sunday’s opponents – but it’s Forest who have enjoyed the better in the head to heads this season.

Both sides won away from home in the league while Forest won 2-1 when the sides met in the fifth round of the FA Cup in March.

This term’s promotion push has been a remarkable turnaround at both clubs with Forest finishing 17th last season while the Terriers were 20th.

Nottingham Forest fans celebrate on the pitchat the City Ground after they reach the play-off final.

Huddersfield head into the match with momentum on their side after a nine-game unbeaten run.

Forest, meanwhile, saw their hopes of finishing second ended with a 1-0 defeat by Bournemouth before a final day draw at Hull meant they had to settle for fourth spot.

Cooper’s men required a penalty shootout to eventually overcome Sheffield United in the play-off semi-finals after a drama-packed encounter finished 3-3 on aggregate.

Huddersfield Town fans celebrate getting through to the play off final. 

Players to watch

Welsh international Brennan Johnson has been key to Nottingham Forest’s success this season.

The attacker, who has been linked with a move to Everton, was named the EFL Championship young player of the season.

The 21-year-old has scored 19 goals this season and it would be no surprise if he hit the 20 mark today after scoring in his past three games in a row.

Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson celebrates after scoring in the penalty shoot out against Sheffield United.

Goalkeeper Lee Nicholls was Huddersfield’s only inclusion in the Championship team of the season, while three Forest players made the list – Joe Worrall, Djed Spence and Ryan Yates.

Jordan Rhodes, the 14-times capped Scotland international, scored the decisive goal for the Terriers as they earned their spot at Wembley.

The 32-year-old netted the only goal in their 1-0 win against Luton in the second leg to progress 2-1 on aggregate.

Huddersfield Town’s Jordan Rhodes (left) celebrates with Duane Holmes after scoring the opening goal during the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final against Luton Town.

What about Huddersfield Town?

One Aberdonian who is unlikely to be supporting Nottingham Forest is the city’s most famous footballing son.

Denis Law started his career at Huddersfield and scored 16 goals in 81 appearances before joining Manchester City in 1960.

The Terriers were linked with a move for Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson last summer.

They are managed by Spaniard Carlos Corberan, who previously worked at Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa.

How can I watch the match?

The game is live on Sky Sports. Kick-off is 4.30pm on Sunday.


Aberdeen benefit beyond a cash windfall if Scott McKenna reaches English top-flight, says Willie Miller


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