Forest (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & prediction

It seems like St James’ Park is no stranger to a 4-4 draw, but wow did this last one against Luton feel entirely different to the comeback against Arsenal.

But we must move on – Premier League games are coming thick and fast and we have some momentum to continue given our upturn of form since the turn of the year.

Now, the Toon have a chance to get over their Boxing Day blues and finally put some distance between us and our bad festive run which saw us lose 3-1 at home to Forest in the reverse fixture with former Mag Chris Wood bagging a hattrick.

“It was a game which got away from us, which when we went 1-0 up you didn’t see coming,” Howe said of the disappointing home loss to Forest. For lots of that game we were pretty good. But we got some key details wrong and conceded some poor goals.

“Overall it was a disappointing day which promised so much. Of course there’s lots that we can take from that game into this one.”

Team news

Anthony Gordon has not trained this week after he was seen leaving St James’ on crutches after the Luton game, but Howe confirmed the injury was not serious and said he was hopeful the forward would be back “sooner rather than later.”

The trip to Forest also comes too soon for Alexander Isak. Howe hopes the striker “won’t be too far away” but warned the Swedish international “doesn’t have a fixed return date yet.”

Meanwhile Howe confirmed Callum Wilson is ready to start the match, but Harvey Barnes is still being eased back to match sharpness. Joe Willock and Elliot Anderson are nearing a return to training.

Magpie-turned-hattrick nemesis Chris Wood has a hamstring injury and will miss the game, along with AFCON finalists Ibrahim Sangare, Ola Aina and Willy Boly.

Morgan Gibbs-White and Gonzalo Montiel picked up knocks midweek in an FA Cup replay against Bristol City. Sunderland-born Gio Reyna could make his first Forest appearance at the City Ground alongside former Magpie Matz Sels – who would rather forget his time on Tyneside.

Predicted XI – Dubravka – Trippier, Schar, Botman, Livramento – Longstaff, Bruno, Miley – Murphy, Wilson, Almiron.

Howe answered a few questions on the debate engulfing the fanbase – Dan Burn or Tino Livramento?

“Dan has been such a big player for us.” Howe said. “That doesn’t guarantee him a place in the team, but he has to be right up there as one of my best signings.”

On the other hand, Howe confessed he does “love” Livramento at left-back. I’m teetering on the edge of saying Burn will start, but sticking my neck on the line, I’m going to say that Howe will give Burn a rest and start Livramento against Forest.

Prediction – Nottingham Forest 1 – 2 Newcastle

I think that we have a stronger team, despite the City Ground becoming a fortress of late under Nuno Espirito Santo. Forest are without a few key players including the goal-scoring Hudson-Odoi.

With options from the bench now including Barnes, who scored as a sub v Luton, Newcastle should edge this one.


About Joshua Nichol

Joshua is a freelance journalist currently training at Sunderland Uni, but is a lifelong Newcastle fan and enjoyer of retro football kits.

14 thoughts on “Forest (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & prediction

  1. This site has thrown 7 articles up today & only I’ve posted on 2 of them 🙄.

    Anyone tries to tell me this is fans forum & not just a money spinning advertisement board 🐂 💩


  2. The amount of ads and unrelated videos on here are shocking now Sharpy. All about the money. I wonder what happened to Toonsy?


  3. Another tough match but one we must win if we want to stay in touch with top 6. I’m going to go 1-3 to us. 😬😬😬😁


  4. Sharpy, five of them were from Howe’s press conference so not really sure there was much to say

    Onto tomorrows game, which I’ll have to watch on catchup probably Sunday morning, and it’s one nufc have to win if they wish to consolidate top 10 and stay in touch with euro places

    Conventional wisdom says livramento to start and id agree but where? It’s easy to suggest LB but that still leaves MF weak imo and miley needs a break.
    Of the poor performances this season, the forest home game feels the one nufc really need to put right


  5. Gordon starts alongside Wilson and Miggy. Burn starts too. Elanga and Gibbs-White could have another field day if we are not careful.


  6. There’s a fine line between loyalty & pig headedness – I’m not sure it’s paid off for Howe so far.

    He’s changed the shape of the team with it more of a 3 at the back with Trippier playing in midfield & right wing – I’m not so sure that’s what we needed to shore our leaky defence like.

    He’s shown loyalty to Almiron as well – yes he was on the pitch in the first half 🫢 – he’s been neither an attacker or a defender.

    Either team could take the win in this one but every time they attack us I sink into my sofa.


  7. Well, Bruno was outstanding today. Our defence is very shaky indeed these days. Glad we managed to hold on but that was an edge of the seat match. Every time Forest got the ball I feared the worst. So quick. But up to 7th for now. We needed that.


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