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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.

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Who are you looking forward to seeing play on Saturday?

What are your score predictions?

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Newcastle Ready To Make Offers For Attacking Duo

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Newcastle transfer duo

According to 90min Football, Newcastle are ready to make offers for Lyon playmaker Lucas Paquetá and Marseille forward Bamba Dieng.

Eddie Howe is keen to add attacking reinforcement to his Newcastle squad before the end of the summer transfer window. The Magpies have so far bolstered their defensive options with the arrivals of Matt Target, Sven Botman and goalkeeper Nick Pope.

Newcastle have struggled to sign attacking players so far in the window with clubs and agents demanding higher fees due to the financial wealth behind the new ownership at St James’ Park.

Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paquetá is a name that has been linked with a move to Newcastle since the arrival of former teammate Bruno Guimarães in January.

The 24-year-old is reportedly available for a cut price of £34,000,000 but also has interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal.

Paquetá would complete a trio of Brazilians in midfield at Newcastle, adding to Joelinton and Bruno Guimarães. Paquetá is a different type of player to the formally mentioned pair as he is usually deployed as an advanced midfielder which, should he arrive, would complement The Toon’s midfield nicely.

On Saturday’s opening Premier League fixture against Nottingham Forest, that position was occupied by Joe Willock, who received a 6.95 rating from, WhoScored while, Joelinton and Bruno Guimarães received ratings of 8.69 and 8.18 respectively.

This season is a big season for the former Arsenal man, as he has so far struggled to rekindle his form from the 2020/2021 loan spell with the club since his permanent move.

Jonjo Shelvey faces at least 12 weeks out after undergoing hamstring surgery, meaning Eddie Howe is particularly light of options in the middle of the park.

Elliot Anderson will be staying with the first team after previously expecting to be heading out on loan this campaign. However, his performances in pre-season have impressed The Magpies’ manager.

The academy graduate was an unused sub on Saturday, but I’d suspect he will be utilised when Newcastle are needing a creative spark from midfield late in the game, which was not required on the weekend.

It’s clear that Eddie Howe is hoping to add an advanced midfielder before the window shuts on August 31st, with multiple bids rejected for Leicester City playmaker James Maddison.

Newcastle may go in for a third time for the former Norwich City man, but The Magpies’ hierarchy will be well aware of the FFP restrictions that may see them move for a more affordable target, such as Paquetá.

Marseille forward Bamba Dieng is the other player that Newcastle are set to bid for, who is reportedly available for £12,500,000.

Dieng had a breakthrough season with Marseille last year, scoring 7 goals in 25 games in Ligue 1. The 22-year-old is predominantly a centre-forward but can also play left and right-wing, which would give Newcastle some versatility in the forward positions.

West Ham, Leeds and Celtic are also interested in the Senegalese international, who will be hoping to feature in the World Cup later this year.

Newcastle have been linked with several forwards this summer, including Benjamin Šeško, who has recently joined RB Leipzig.

Eddie Howe will want another forward this summer due to the injury record of Callum Wilson, who, when fit is Newcastle’s first-choice striker.

Wilson got off to a great start to the new Premier League campaign with a clever chip to beat Dean Henderson in the Forest goal and help The Magpies to a 2-0 opening day win.

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Eddie Howe opens up on Anderson’s “big role this season”, transfers wishes and more

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@NUFC via twitter

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has told press that “we’re trying to bring an attacker in.” He also hinted that youngster Elliot Anderson will “have a big part to play this season” and previewed the opening fixture.

Eddie Howe spoke to NUFC TV in the lead up to the start of the new Premier League campaign.

Howe, who was appointed at Newcastle last November, spoke of settling into the area.

“It’s a massive difference having my family close to me. I’ve had a good summer in terms of getting to know the area better, spending more time here. I just feel ready to go and I feel Newcastle Manager now. It took a while to feel settled, not through anyone’s reaction.”

Although, Howe confessed he is yet to pick up any Geordie culture: “I’m so busy with my job and so intense in the role that i have very little time for getting into any local traditions. Hopefully that will change as time evolves.”

The former Bournemouth manager also addressed how the squad are progressing to implement his tactics and philosophy.

He emphasised the room for improvement, saying: “I think the players know what I want now. Knowing what you want and delivering it in the way that you want to is easier said than done. We’re at the highest level and we’re playing against very good teams who are also trying to implement their style on us.

“We’re always working to try and be perfect and we’ve got a long way to go before we get there. I do think we’re along the way now and the key thing is they understand what we want.”

He had praise for Miguel Almiron after an impressive pre-season. “He was a very important player for us last year. At the back end of the season he was terrific without getting the goals and the headlines his performances deserve.”

The winger scored six overall in pre-season, including a double against Benfica.

“Everyone knows Miggy is such a hard worker, such a team player. I’d love him to get some individual reward off the back of that with more goals.”

He also discussed the potential of Eliot Anderson, the young midfielder who impressed in pre-season: “he hasn’t looked out of place among established Premier League. He’s more than held his own. He’ll have a big part to play this season.”

On transfers, Howe was open: “we’re trying to bring an attacker in or someone who can play in forward positions.” After having missed out on a number of attacking targets, he seemed wary that “the transfer marker is so unpredictable.”

“I don’t think [the team] will look drastically different. We’re trying to bring in quality rather than numbers. We’ve got to be smart with what money we do have.”

Turning to Saturday’s fixture, Howe lauded Nottingham Forest. “I’ve been very impressed by Nottingham Forest. Last season the job Steve Cooper did was incredible.”

“After last year waiting so long for a win it would be great if we could make a really good start to this season.”

 

 

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Transfer Latest: Leicester Reject £50,000,000 Bid From Newcastle For Midfield Star

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Leicester's maddison
Image: @premierleague via Twitter

According to The Guardian, Leicester City have rejected Newcastle’s improved offer of £45,000,000 plus £5,000,000 in add-ons for midfielder James Maddison.

The opening bid from The Magpies was in the region of £40,000,000 for the Leicester City playmaker, which was swiftly rejected. It’s understood that The Foxes value Maddison at around the £60,000,000 mark.

Leicester manager Brendon Rodgers said that the opening bid from The Magpies “might just cover three-quarters of his left leg”. Rodgers later stressed that his side will not be “exploited” by other Premier League clubs given their current financial situation.

Newcastle’s hierarchy are currently hesitant in meeting Leicester City’s valuation for Maddison as they don’t want to overpay for players due to FFP restrictions. The new owners have already spent around the £150,000,000 mark in less than 12 months.

The Foxes are set to lose goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. He is close to joining French side Nice, with the deal expected to be completed in the coming days. Leicester are reportedly interested in signing Newcastle keeper Martin Dúbravka as Schmeichel’s replacement, meaning Dúbravka could potentially be used as a makeweight in the Maddison deal.

The former Norwich City man is third for chances created in the Premier League since August 2018 with 278, just behind the division’s top creators Kevin De Bryune and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Lucas Paquetá

It is clear that Eddie Howe is looking to add an attack-minded midfielder to his side with links to the likes of Lucas Paquetá since the start of the window.

Lyon midfielder Lucas Paquetá has been linked with a move to the North East since the arrival of Bruno Guimarães in January. Paquetá is a close friend to Guimarães as they both played together in midfield at Lyon. Guimarães has recently released a message on Instagram to his former teammate:

Leicester reject 50m for maddison

Image: @brunoguimaraes via Instagram

The message reads, “I miss you brother!!! I miss you every day I love you so much my friend @lucaspaqueta ❤️”

Lyon’s head of recruitment, Bruno Cheyrou, has not ruled out a sale for the Brazilian midfielder who is reportedly available for a fee in the region of £34,000,000 after previously being valued at almost double the price mentioned.

If the reports from the French media outlet Media Foot regarding the asking price are correct, Paquetá could provide The Toon with a cheaper alternative to Maddison which could be an appealing solution for the Newcastle hierarchy.

However, it’s believed that Arsenal are currently leading the race for the 24-year-old’s signature, but Paquetá could prefer a move to St James’ Park to be reunited with close friend Bruno Guimarães.

Maxwel Cornet

Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet is another name that has been recently linked with a move to the North East but face competition from Premier League rivals Everton, West Ham and new boys Nottingham Forest.

It has been revealed that Cornet has a £17,500,000 release clause in his current contract at The Clarets and is open to a move following their relegation to the Championship last season.

The 25-year-old is predominantly seen as a left-winger but can also play at left-back. Adding more quality to the forward positions is one of Eddie Howe’s priorities for the remainder of the window, as he is yet to sign a forward player.

Cornet was left out of Vincent Kompany’s squad for Burnley’s Championship opening fixture at Huddersfield Town on Friday night.

The Ivory Coast international could provide a more suitable option financially due to the £40,000,000 asking price for Leeds winger Jack Harrison, who has been previously linked with a move to The Toon.

Eddie Howe’s side have already seen a bid of £33,500,000 rejected by Leeds and are unwilling to pay over their valuation for the former Manchester City man.

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