Nottingham Forest (H) Pre-match views, team news, possible line-ups & prediction

This time last year, things felt so different.

An unfit Newcastle United were full of square pegs in round holes as a Steve Bruce side – featuring a back six of Woodman, Murphy, Krafth, Fernandez, Clark and Ritchie – were beaten 4-2 by West Ham on the opening day of the 2021/22 season at St James’ Park.

12 months on, apathy has been replaced with excitement as Eddie Howe’s Mags head into a new campaign with genuine momentum and a buzz around the city like never before.

After years of neglect under the previous regime left us turning up to games out of habit, hoping at best we’d be able to stave off relegation for another season, St James’ Park will now be packed to the rafters for all the right reasons, full of revitalised fans ready to witness the first full season of this ambitious, new-look Newcastle United.

A new deal for Eddie Howe has come after some brilliant summer signings both on and off the pitch, with Dan Ashworth, Darren Eales (CEO) and Sven Botman just some of the new names we’ve seen arrive over the summer.

Howe will be looking to implement a new style of play, featuring more possession, more pressing and a great control of games. This may take time, but with three solid additions so far, a strong pre-season under our belts, Bruno’s brilliance, Trippier’s talismanic presence and the expectation that TWO new attackers will also arrive, we’re looking in great shape.

First up is Nottingham Forest, who return to the Premier League after 23 years away from the top flight. Steve Cooper is a good manager and has been backed heavily in the transfer market, recently landing former Toon target Jessie Lingard – his 12th signing of the summer!

The influx of so many new faces could go either way. It may only add to their momentum if everything clicks, yet some wonder if this could be the perfect time to face the newly-promoted Reds who won’t yet know their best 11.

Team news

Jonjo Shelvey will miss out with a hamstring injury, with him currently in London to determine the full extent of the damage done after he limped off in a pre-season defeat at Benfica last month.

Eddie Howe says Sven Botman looks “ready” and could make his first competitive start for the club alongside Nick Pope, however Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lewis and Javier Manquillo will all miss out after failing to feature over pre-season.

For Forest, new left-back Omar Richards will miss this one after suffering a hairline leg fracture in training, while Ryan Yates remains out.

Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson could both make their debuts for the Reds alongside new wing-back Neco Williams, with ex-Mag Jack Colback also likely to start while new signings bed in.

Predicted line ups

(4-3-3): Pope – Trippier, Schar, Botman, Targett – Guimaraes, S Longstaff, Joelinton – Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin.

Dubravka has done little wrong and would feel hard done by to lose his place, however it speaks volumes that we still felt the need to bring in Pope – who won’t be coming to sit on the bench in the midst of a World Cup year. Because of that, I think our new 6ft 6′ stopper starts.

Some wonder if Howe will ease Botman into the side based on the rock-solid partnership Burn and Schar have developed, but I can’t help but feel the big Dutchman is too good to ignore as a giant presence who is equally good on the deck.

If the former Lille man does start, I expect it to be alongside Schar, as the left-footed Burn would require Botman to play on his wrong side – which wouldn’t be ideal on his first Premier League outing!

In midfield, I want Joe Willock to play, feeling a midfield three of him, Bruno and big Joe would be attacking, mobile and able to cause havoc against Forest. However, Howe spoke highly of Sean Longstaff in his presser and he is a more natural replacement for Shelvey after performing well in a deep-lying role against Atalanta.

As for our front three, Wilson and Saint-Maximin are two of the first names on the team sheet when fit, while Miggy Almiron will be hoping to take his pre-season form into the Premier League out on the right.

Predicted Forest XI: (3-4-3): Henderson – Worrall (c), Cook, McKenna – Williams, O’Brien, Colback, Toffolo – Lingard, Awoiniyi, Johnson.

Match prediction

We’ve had a productive pre-season and look to be in a good place physically, looking visibly fitter and far more prepared than we were this time last year.

We have the momentum, home comforts and may catch Forest cold. They’ll be buzzing to be back, however I do feel think it will take time for new signings to settle into the starting 11. Even if many of those don’t feature, I dread to think how Jack Colback will cope if he’s in a midfield battle with Bruno Guimaraes!

Wilson to score twice and our pressing to pay off in an opening day win at SJP!

Prediction: Newcastle 3-1 Nottingham Forest

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

49 thoughts on “Nottingham Forest (H) Pre-match views, team news, possible line-ups & prediction

  1. I will defer to Olly on the team selection although I think it is extremely harsh on Dubz and BDB. A toss up in midfield also between Sean and Little Joe.

    The most interesting game of the weekend is Everton v Chelsea. Of course, this is Super-Frank hosting his old team. Do the blue bindippers have any forwards now Calvert-Lewin is injured?

    It will also be interesting to see what Man U do with Ronaldo. He wanted to leave but nobody can afford him.


  2. Lee Ryder is predicting we will finish 10th. That is probably a good thing as I do not trust Wor Lee’s judgement at all. With a couple of forwards, I think 6th is doable. Top 4 are probably the same as last year.

    Relegation? Everton and 2 of the promoted teams.


  3. Dele Alli has 8 million followers on Instagram. My question is – why? I suppose that makes him an “influencer” on social media. He certainly doesnt appear to be an influencer on a football pitch anymore.

    I just read The Guardian season outlook for Everton and they were talking up Anthony Gordon. AGAIN, why? He is a little weasel of a player and if he is your big hope then good luck to you. Blue bindippers to be 19th. Super-Frank sacked early in the new year. That’s my prediction. The Guardian have them 14th.


  4. I am not buying this hype about Arsenal. We can finish above them. They got very lucky against Palace who were the better team and Eze should have had a penalty before that ridiculous own goal. Arsenal’s best player was their goalie.

    Top 6 is not impossible because WHam, @rse and Man U are all overhyped.


  5. I have just realised that all of my most despised Refs have retired.

    Fat Boy Show Off Mike Dean
    Even Fatter Boy Jon Moss
    Middle School Temp Geography Teacher Martin Atkinson
    Pete Posteleswaite Lookalike Kevin Friend


  6. God I can’t wait for the footy to start again!!

    It’s mad – I honestly think 8th would be a good season – and yet I’m looking forward to this season as if we will compete for the league 😂.

    I started supporting NUFC before King Kev – when you could pay on the gate. I fell in love with SJP and the atmosphere the fans generated before I fell in love with NUFC and the football.

    To see SJP rocking last season was spine tingling.

    My hope for this season is that it becomes a fortress.


  7. Mitro gets off the mark against Liverpool! Rafa is regarded as a saint by some NUFC fans but he really was useless at identifying attacking talent. He let go 100 million of strikers for about 20 mil – Mitro, Toney, Armstrong. I wouldnt mind any of them back – good squad players at worst.


  8. I’d definitely have Mitro back. Under Eddie he would be a beast I reckon. I was thinking 3-1 to us. Let’s see.
    I hate 3pm Saturday KO. It’s not televised. I was used to seeing every game in Dubai. 🤬🤬.


  9. Gilly: it really is a stupid situation where I can watch every single game in the US but people living in Newcastle cannot see a 3pm Sat game.


  10. Eric – it was bloody criminal getting rid of Mitrovic in particular – for Rafa not to be able to see and develop the potential of all of those players you mention was a disgrace.


  11. Sharpy: I am not going to go too deeply into it because it is all old news but Rafa was give god-like status on some NUFC blogs. I always maintained he had the time and the players to keep us up after McClaren was sacked. Then he failed in China and was totally useless at Everton.

    Thank the Lord that Everton hired him so Stavely couldnt 🙂


  12. Well done Mitro and Fulham. A deserved draw. I have nothing against the red bindippers and prefer watching them to City.


  13. Forest have a really difficult start to the season. They could easily be bottom after 6 games as long as we beat them.


  14. Frustrating – we’ve had about 10 corners and a couple of freekicks and the deliveries have been really poor!!!.

    The size of our team we should be a real threat from set pieces – but we really aren’t!!.


  15. Great win! And two very good goals. I still feel we Lack a punch in the final third though.
    Site still dodgy. I’ve got Kim’s details now 😳


  16. Well that was a very comfortable win – and it was down to us being good as much as Forest were poor.

    We passed the ball well – really well at times & I really like that midfield 3 – thought they worked really well together.

    But I was so impressed with our closing down without the ball. We smothered them & made the rush passes leading to mistakes.

    Our workrate was excellent.

    But I agree with Kim – some of our final passes or shots were really poor.

    If I’m really critical – our set plays were dreadful today as well.

    But a really good performance & solid win for game 1. Really happy with that.

    Back to the window 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼


  17. Sharpy, mate. The set plays werent that bad. I think Forest defended well against them. All you have to do is look at Bruce-Ball where we always hit the first defender at corners and our throw-ins always went straight to the opposition. Or Shelvey hoofing it over the bar on every free kick 🙂


  18. Odds of Everton being relegated are 7th. I really dont get that. They were shyte last year and have no strikers. Their big signing was Dwight McNeil who I think scored 1 goal last year.


  19. 3 points ta very much
    onwards and upwards
    Still need a forward we are wasteful up front and you can’t get away with that in PL . If Wilson gets injured I do worry where the goals are coming from. We won but Forest were really poor, they are a team full of new players , all at sea and shell shocked.


  20. Eric – sorry mate but I’d expect better – I’m nit picking here I know coz I thought in the main we were very good.
    But we had 11 corners and maybe 4 or 5 freekicks – and I don’t remember a single one resulting in a shot or header on target.

    It didn’t matter today. But with the height we have as a team – we need to be better, because it could be the difference in some fixtures this season.


  21. Olly, Can you tell them tech guys that I have to open a fresh tab to read every new comment I submit ! Makes having a conversation impossible, also getting others details still. We’ve had months of issues now and really thought they would of fixed it ready for new season start.
    This site will turn into a site just for reading articles and not conversing with fellow fans before long at this rate which would be a shame . So many have already drifted away since Toonsy offloaded it and it’s getting so it’s impossible to enjoy coming on here.

    It’s not your fault mate but who ever owns or runs the site needs to address these issues .


  22. Steve Cooper is a very strange looking guy. He seems like he arrived on a space ship from Mars.


  23. You know what I want today – a thrashing of Everton!!! We will not catch Chelsea this year so I want them to win big. I have no idea where my dislike of Everton has come from, I was never really bothered about them. It has to be their fans and their “people’s club” entitlement. I never took any notice until social media.


  24. Kimtoon: do you have any idea what happened to Troy Stavers? He was always on a wind up but seemed a nice enough guy.


  25. Kim – it was attack v defence for much of the first half – but I can’t remember once there Henderson had to pull off a top save to keep us out.

    Miggy looked like he only wanted to shoot with his left foot – which is criminal at this level, and meant there were wasted opportunities. But further to that, his final pass in and around the box wasn’t great either. His workrate & closing down was excellent – always is. But we need a goal threat as well.

    Maxi was the same really. He’d cut in on his right when the play was to go the other way and put it in the box with his left. He shot when there was a pass to a team mate in a better position.

    Big Joe I thought was outstanding today – but he will always be a player where if he gets a clean shot on target your happy 🤷🏼‍♂️.
    The work he does in midfield and breaking the play up makes up for it now though I reckon.

    We ended up having 23 shots with 10 on target – which is pretty good really. But again Henderson was never really stretched.


  26. Sharpy says “Henderson was never stretched”.

    Apart from the 2 goals 🙂 🙂 🙂


  27. It looks like Anthony Gordon has taken up smoking in pre season. His hair is the same colour as my Uncle Lens when he was alive bless him 😶‍🌫️😂


  28. Sharpy
    I said we need to play 4-2-3-1 against these teamsso that we can break them down and play a creative AM in the middle of the front three,
    I seem to remember you wanted to stick with 4-3-3 which means we will struggle to break down ultra defensive teams.
    However we did break them down with 2 excellent goals, so hats off to the lads


  29. Eric – he wasn’t stretched – he didn’t save them 🤷🏼‍♂️. I’m talking full length stretch saves where he’s tipping them round the post or scrambling around his box desperately keeping us out.

    Prem – we broken them down just find 4-3-3. We had 23 shots & 10 on target. The problem was quality and a lack of clinical decision making & finishing.

    It took a thunderbolt from our CB and a very tidy finish from Wilson to win the game – it was a half chance or improvised finished really.

    But I will STRESS again – i am very much nit picking here coz I was over the moon with the performance today.

    My expectation is still 9th this season. But if we want to finish higher we need to convert more. We scored 2 from 10 on target – we won’t get a 1/5 ratio every week.


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