2022-23 Premier League: Week One – Newcastle United vs Nottingham Forest

Newcastle United welcome newly promoted Nottingham Forest to St James’ Park in a tasty opening weekend clash.

Having narrowly missed out on a top-ten finish last season, Newcastle will be eager to kick on and continue their progress since their takeover last October.

Forest meanwhile are looking to begin their first Premier League campaign of this century on a high with a win on Tyneside.

 

Team News

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Newcastle will be without Federico Fernandez and Jamal Lewis with both defenders considered doubts after suffering calf injuries in pre-season.

Javier Manquillo (groin) and Jonjo Shelvey (hamstring) are ruled out.

Summer signings –  Nick Pope and Sven Botman could make their competitive Magpies debuts, whilst Matt Targett has joined from Aston Villa on a permanent transfer after spending the second-half of last season on loan at St James Park.

Forest will be without summer signing – Omar Richards after the defender suffered a leg fracture in pre-season.

Manager, Steve Cooper though faces difficult decisions over whether to go for continuity and experience or freshness, following a summer spending spree with Neco Williams, Harry Toffolo, Lewis O’Brien, Jesse Lingard and Taiwo Awoniyi amongst new signings looking for starts.

Dean Henderson is set to start in goal following his move from Manchester United with Wayne Hennessey set to be second-choice goalkeeper.

 

Stat Attack

  • Newcastle are unbeaten in eight previous meetings against Forest (W5, D3).
  • Forest have lost all four previous Premier League visits to St James’ Park (L4), during which they scored two goals and conceded 12 goals.
  • Newcastle have kept clean sheets in three of their last four Premier League clashes against Forest (W2, D1), with exception of 2-1 away win in March 1999.
  • Newcastle have won just one of their last five opening weekend fixtures in a new season (W1, L4).
  • Forest have won just one of their last five opening weekend fixtures in a new season (W1, D1, L3).

 

Prediction

Following a strong conclusion to last season and excellent reinforcement over summer, I am quite excited to see what Newcastle can achieve this campaign with decent financial backing because they have found their goal-scoring boots and now have a solid defence to match.

Forest meanwhile have invested heavily over the summer so it will be interesting to see how Steve Cooper blends continuity and experience with freshness here, especially given the difference between Premier League and Championship football quality.

Those Forest players who remain from last season though have experience of facing top-flight opposition across both cup competitions – including their memorable FA Cup run with wins over Arsenal and Leicester, so their knowledge and expertise will be important in this game for those new to the club.

Newcastle though look very settled with only Sven Botman new to the Premier League and I fancy them to make that advantage count, although they need to get on the front foot and limit Forest who have a huge threat in Brennan Johnson on the wing.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Nottingham Forest

Result: Newcastle 2-0 Nottingham Forest

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