Predicted Newcastle team to face Nottingham Forest today – Three dilemmas for Eddie Howe?

After the two and a half month break from competitive action, Premier League football is finally back at St James’ Park!

With newly-promoted Nottingham Forest first up, it’s time to predict which side Eddie Howe will go with for our opening game of the 2022/23 season.

Keeping pre-season and current availability in mind, here’s the starting 11 we’re backing the boss to select come 3pm today:

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

For me, Eddie Howe is facing these three dilemmas:

  • Pope or Dubravka?
  • Who starts at CB?
  • Willock or Sean Longstaff?

Personally, I back new signings Pope and Botman to both make their first competitive starts for the club. It would be harsh on Dubravka and Burn – neither have barely put a foot wrong – but the England stopper didn’t sign in the midst of a World Cup year to sit on the bench and Botman looks too good to ease in.

As Burn is left-sided and Botman has so little experience of playing on the right, it seems logical for Howe to go with Schar alongside our new £35m centre-back.

In the middle of the park, I’d like Joe Willock to play. I believe a midfield three of him, Bruno and big Joe would be attacking, mobile and capable of causing havoc against Forest. However, Howe stressed in Friday’s presser that Sean Longstaff has a “big part to play” and may consider him to be a more natural replacement for Shelvey after performing well in a deep-lying role against Atalanta.

How do you see us lining up, folks? Let us know in the comments below!

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!

One thought on “Predicted Newcastle team to face Nottingham Forest today – Three dilemmas for Eddie Howe?

  1. If this was last season we would be worried that forest with so many new players are an unknown. We would play Dubravka as a known. Three centre backs with Botman between BDB and Lascelles coz he’s the club captain. We would play four CM, Bruno, Big Joe, Little Joe and Longstaff. We would play wood up front as he did so well for so long last season.
    ASM and Wilson would start on the bench, as to miggy??

      (Quote)

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