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MATCH PREVIEW: Newcastle vs Nottingham Forest

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Match Preview: Newcastle vs Forest

Newcastle host Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest to kick-off the new 2022/2023 Premier League season.

Newcastle have ended their pre-season friendlies in good form with back-to-back home wins against Atalanta and Athletic Club. The Toon have had some stand-out performers in pre-season with Miguel Almirón netting 6 times and will be hoping to start against Forest on Saturday. Elliot Anderson, a player who was due to leave on loan this campaign, has taken his chance in pre-season with multiple impressive displays convincing Eddie Howe to keep him in the first-team picture.

Everyone associated with Newcastle knew that this summer would be a hectic one, with the new owners looking to improve every aspect of the current squad. So far, they have got three players through the door: Sven Botman, Nick Pope and former loanee Matt Targett. All three signings improve the starting 11 and will be pushing for a competitive debut or second debut in Targett’s case.

Championship Play-Off winners Nottingham Forest have returned to the Premier League after a 23-year absence and will be hoping to cause an upset at St James’ Park on the opening weekend.

Forest have been busy in the transfer market and have not been hesitant in spending their £170m prize for winning the Play-Off final last season. They have currently brought in 12 players and spent £73.6m in the process. Forest have most notably brought in the likes of Jesse Lingard, Neco Williams, Taiwo Awoniyi, Dean Henderson and Moussa Niakhaté.

Players To Watch:

Brennan Johnson

Johnson was one of the best performers in the Championship last campaign, with 16 goals and 9 assists in 46 games. The 21-year-old is predominantly deployed as a second striker or as a number 10 in Steve Cooper’s side.

The academy graduate has recently penned a new four-year deal this summer to fend off Premier League interest from the likes of Spurs and Newcastle.

Taiwo Awoniyi

The summer recruit from German side, Union Berlin will likely partner the previously mentioned Brennan Johnson in a top two for Forest on Saturday.

The Nigerian international arrives at the City Ground with a hefty £18m price tag. He had an impressive season in the Bundesliga last campaign with a 15-goal return from 31 games.

Jesse Lingard

Potentially, one of the more eyebrow-raising transfers that Forest have completed this summer is the capture of free agent, Jesse Lingard. The former Manchester United midfielder has been linked to several Premier League clubs this summer, including Newcastle before moving to the City Ground.

Lingard struggled to get into United’s team last season but has shown in previous seasons that he has got Premier League quality. Think back to the 20/21 season when Lingard moved to West Ham on loan and claimed 9 goals and 5 assists in just 16 Premier League games.

The 29-year-old has only played one pre-season friendly for Forest, meaning he won’t be at his peak fitness level. However, Steve Cooper may opt to start Lingard from the off despite his lack of fitness.

The Gaffer:

Steve Cooper, who took over Forest when they were bottom of the Championship last campaign, turned their season around with a 4th placed finish and earned promotion back to the Premier League.

Forest predominantly play 5-2-1-2 out of possession and a 3-4-1-2 in possession under Cooper, with a big emphasis on the production from the wing-backs. Djed Spence, who was on loan from Middlesbrough last season, was a huge part of the system at Forest in the right-wing-back position, but he opted to join Spurs instead of re-joining Forest this summer. However, the arrival of Nico Williams from Liverpool is a more than capable option to fill the gap left by Spence.

Cooper is a highly rated English coach and has previously managed England U16s and U17s before taking the reigns at Swansea City. During his time at The Swans, Cooper had two successive Play-Off finishes before leaving by mutual content over fears of what direction the club was taking.

Man In The Middle:

Swindon-born, Simon Hooper will be the man in charge of The Toon’s opening day fixture against Nottingham Forest.

The last time Hooper was in charge of a game involving Newcastle was in the 2020/2021 season when The Magpies’ suffered a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Team News:

Newcastle are set to be without central-midfielder Jonjo Shelvey who has a hamstring problem which could see him sidelined for 3-4 weeks.

Summer signings Sven Botman, Matt Targett and Nick Pope could all feature.

Forest will be without left-back Omar Richards, who arrived from Bayern Munich this summer.

Predicted Teams:

Newcastle: Pope, Trippier, Schär, Botman, Targett, Joelinton, Guimarães, Willock, Almirón, Saint-Maximin, Wilson

Nottingham Forest: Henderson, Worrall, Niakhate, McKenna, Williams, Toffolo, Yates, O’Brien, Lingard, Johnson, Awoniyi

Score Prediction:

The opening game of the season is always a tough game to predict, especially with Forest signing so many new players it’s difficult to know how they will all gel together so early on in the season.

That said, I think The Magpies will get off to a winning start and win the game 2-1, with Callum Wilson and Joe Willock getting the goals for The Toon.

Have Your Say

Who are you looking forward to seeing play on Saturday?

What are your score predictions?

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Which Newcastle Players Are Going To The World Cup?

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Newcastle

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway next week and here are all the Newcastle players involved in the tournament

Callum Wilson (England)

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is a player that has consistently shown the quality to earn a spot in an England squad at a major tournament but has sadly had his chances diminished by injuries in the past.

However, Wilson is currently injury free and is on the plane to Qatar! The Coventry City academy graduate averages a goal every 130 minutes in the Premier League this season, which is the second-best return of all English players behind Harry Kane.

The 30-year-old may have to bide his time for an opportunity due to England captain Harry Kane being the first-choice striker. That said, Wilson gives Gareth Southgate a great alternative should England find themselves chasing a game.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Gareth Southgate has always been very fond of Kieran Trippier’s abilities and what he brings to a team. For example, in Euro 2020 Southgate opted to play Trippier at left-back ahead of a more natural option in Ben Chilwell due to the 32-year-old’s experience and leadership qualities.

Trippier brings bags of experience at major tournaments after reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

With injuries at right-back to the likes of Reece James and uncertainty around the fitness of Kyle Walker, Trippier could start at right wing-back in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

Nick Pope (England)

The last player to complete The Magpies’ England trio is Nick Pope. Toon’s No.1 has been outstanding since arriving from Burnley in the Summer and has earnt his place in England’s World Cup squad.

Pope has the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (6) alongside Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson and fellow England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate picks Pope to be his first-choice goalkeeper in Qatar ahead of Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pope started both of England’s last games in the Nations League back in September.

Bruno Guimarães (Brazil)

Moving to South America and the favourites to win the competition, Brazil. Bruno Guimarães has been one of Newcastle’s stand-out players this season and has deservedly earned himself a spot in Brazil’s very competitive World Cup Squad.

Guimarães has statistically been the best midfielder in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping his performances have done enough to earn him a start against Serbia in Brazil’s opening fixture.

That said, Brazil manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi has predominantly played with a midfield two of Manchester United duo, Casemiro and Fred at the base of the Brazilian midfield.

Fabian Schär (Switzerland)

The Magpies’ centre-back has been in great form alongside Sven Botman at the heart of Newcastle’s defence this season and will be hoping to continue his form in Qatar.

Schär has some tough competition in his position in the form of Manchester City centre-back Manuel Akanji and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi.

Switzerland find themselves in the same group as tournament favourites Brazil, which will see Schär reunited with Toon teammate Bruno Guimarães in Gameweek 2.

Who didn’t make the squad?

The most surprising player to not make their country’s squad is Sven Botman. The former Lille centre-back has been a major part of why Newcastle has the Premier League’s best defence so far this campaign.

Louis van Gaal has a great pool of centre-backs available to him and opted for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake over Botman.

Another Toon player with World Cup disappointment is Joelinton, who has failed to follow Bruno Guimarães on the plane to Qatar.

Joelinton has been a revelation under Eddie Howe following his remarkable transformation from a striker to a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Joelinton this year.

Have Your Say

Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)

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deadline day

Newcastle United were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday, winning 2-1 and now sit fourth in the Premier League. This is the first time they’ve been there at this stage of the season in 10 years.

 

Goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were enough to scare away any chances of a second-half Spurs comeback. That’s six goals for Miggy in what is now his best-ever season for goals in black and white.

 

With 21 points, just five behind Manchester City and seven behind current league leaders Arsenal, the Toon are looking better than ever, but what did the victory yesterday tell us?

 

Toon are charging for Europe

 

If you didn’t believe it at the start of the season you should now. Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle into a team with a winning mentality with a real sense of togetherness in a squad who are willing to battle for one another, week in and week out.

 

Very few teams will travel to London this season and manage to come away with a point, never mind three when playing Spurs. Not only this game, however, but Man City (3-3), Liverpool (2-1) and Brentford (5-1) have also shown that Howe and his side mean business this season and are willing to go toe to toe with some of the very best teams, coaches and players in the world. 

 

In his first signing interview, Sven Botman said, “Newcastle wants to reach the top and the top is in the league and, at the end, maybe in Europe.” Maybe he didn’t specifically mean this season but now he and the rest of his teammates should believe that they have a real chance of playing European football next season.

 

Almiron transformation shouldn’t go unnoticed

 

Almiron made 30 appearances last season in the league and finished with just one goal and no assists. Now, after just 12 games and six goals, the Paraguayan is already on course to smash his previous goal-scoring records which have seen him accumulate nine Premier League goals over the course of four seasons. 

 

Loved by the fans and with the full support of his teammates, it can only get better for the Paraguayan at this point. His goal against Tottenham showed the dribbling, flair and finishing quality he withholds, something that Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez could never get out of him.

 

Eddie Howe must be awarded credit for this development, as with the current budget the club has, he could’ve easily found a replacement in the summer. But, just like Joelinton, Miggy has cemented his spot in Newcastle’s starting eleven and is proving every week why he deserves to be there.

 

Wilson & Burn should be considered by Southgate 

 

On TalkSport recently, Neil Warnock warned Gareth Southgate saying his loyalty to players might be his downfall and said Dan Burn is “Mr Steady Eddie” referring to his versatility, being able to play left-back or centre-back.

 

Burn started 28 Premier League games last season and this season has 11 out of 12. His consistent dominating performances in Newcastle’s back line have put him into the conversation for a first-ever England call-up and I don’t think many would disagree. With John Stoned injured, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings not in good form and not getting regular game time, Gareth Southgate’s defensive decisions should now be a lot more challenging.

 

Callum Wilson has proved yet again his abilities as a top Premier League striker. His goal against Spurs not only put him in the headlines over England captain Harry Kane but also made it four in eight for the English man this season who has averaged 2.8 shots per game with an average scoring frequency of 162 minutes. 

 

With no clear-cut backup striker to Kane, is Wilson ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham in the race to be England’s number two striker?

 

So, what do you think? Do Newcastle have a serious chance at European football next season, can Almiron stay at his best and should Wilson and Burn be considered for a World Cup call-up?

 

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