Prediction: Nottingham Forest vs Newcastle – Soccer News

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Betfair

Nottingham Forest and Newcastle both have a bit of lost ground to make up for compared to the teams around them in the Premier League table, when it comes to the number of matches played this season. Therefore, when the two sides meet at the City Ground on Friday evening, it’ll be match No. 27 for the hosts, and match No. 26 for the visitors. They both have a lot to play for, so the points on offer would mean a lot.

Nottingham Forest

Having returned to the Premier League ahead of this season for the first time in the 21st century, Forest are expectedly fighting to survive, despite the numerous signings they made straight away. At the moment, they’re out of the relegation zone, but the two points that separate them from it are not nearly enough for any kind of comfort. Sitting 14th with a tally of 26, they’re just one point ahead of Everton, and two points ahead of Leicester City, West Ham and Bournemouth, the latter being in the zone. Leeds are below with 23, and Southampton at the bottom have 22. It’ll be a long and surely draining battle to avoid relegation for each of these teams, with Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers, both on 27, also in it.

Forest had relatively successful run in the Carabao Cup, reaching the semifinals where they were beaten by eventual winners, Manchester United. Their last six matches all came after that, all in the league, including a 1-0 home win over Leeds, a 2-0 defeat away to Fulham, a 1-1 draw at home against Manchester City, a 4-0 defeat away to West Ham, a 2-2 draw at home against Everton, and a 3-1 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur.

Harry Kane struck twice for the North Londoners in that match, and Son Heung-min added the third, and the one Forest pulled back late on was the work of Joe Worrall.

Team News

One of the most worrying aspects of the task ahead for Cooper’s team is the length of the list of injured players.

Goalkeeper Dean Henderson (hamstring), defenders Willy Boly (thigh), Scott McKenna (thigh), Giulian Biancone (knee) and Omar Richards (calf), midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate (thigh), as well as forwards Chris Wood (thigh) and Taiwo Awoniyi (groin), have all been ruled out, along with midfielder Gustavo Scarpa who misses out for personal reasons.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (knee) and forward Brennan Johnon (groin) could be involved, but it’s not certain yet.

Keylor Navas will surely be in goal, with the back line of Worrall, Felipe, Renan Lodi and Neco Williams ahead of him. In the middle of the park, Orel Mangala should play alongside former Newcastle player Jonjo Shelvey and Remo Freuler, and in attack, Jesse Lingard  and Morgan Gibbs-White are likely to support veteran Andre Ayew, escpecially if Johnson isn’t ready to start.


Newcastle’s battle is very different to the one Forest are going through, though not less exciting or unpredictable. Since the takeover by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, they’ve definitely left the troubles related to relegation thoughts behind and joined the teams close to the top of the table.

At the moment, Eddie Howe’s team are fifth with 44 points, six less than Manchester United in third and with a game in hand, four less than Spurs in fourth with two games in hand, two more than Liverpool in sixth with a game in hand, as well as Brighton and Hove Albion in seventh with whom they’re level in terms of the number of matches played.

Newcastle went a step further than Forest in the Carabao Cup, reaching the final in which they were beaten by the same team that took out Forest. In all competitions, their last-six run consists of a 1-1 draw at home against West Ham, a 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth, a 0-2 defeat at home to Liverpool, the 2-0 defeat in the cup final to Manchester United, a 2-0 defeat away to Manchester City, and a 2-1 win at home against Wolves.

Team News

Ryan Fraser has been demoted to training with the youth setup for disciplinary reasons, as Howe explained at the start of the month, with the winger’s commitment to the club and the project strongly questioned.

Defender Emil Krafth suffered an ACL tear in August last year and it’s still not clear if he’ll return to action at all this term. Winger Anthony Gordon is out with an ankle problem, and striker-turned-midfielder Joelinton is suspended.

Nick Pope will be in goal. Fabian Schar will pair up with Sven Botman in the heart of defence, flanked by Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn. Sean Longstaff is expected to anchor the midfield, which should also include Bruno Guimaraes and Joe Willock. Upfront, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin should start either side of Alexander Isak.


Forest are usually a tough nut to crack when they play at home, but given the amount of injury problems plaguing them at the moment, they aren’t likely to be able to do much against this Newcastle side, on the hunt for Champions League football.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Betfair

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