Newcastle United predicted line-up vs Nottingham Forest: one major change as Eddie Howe given dilemma
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This season has proved to be one step forward, another step backwards for Newcastle United this season. After the highs of beating Aston Villa, the Magpies failed to capitalise and almost came unstuck against Luton Town.
A late fightback spared Newcastle from embarrassment as they snatched a 4-4 draw at St James’ Park. But what performance are Eddie Howe’s side going to conjure up this week?
Like a bag of Revels, nobody can predict what they are going to get from Newcastle this season. A last-gasp win at the City Ground a year ago does fill United with confidence but, on that day, Alexander Isak bagged a brace - a man they will be without this weekend.
Newcastle do have selection dilemmas to consider - seldom have they been able to say that in 2023-24. Ahead of their trip to Nottingham Forest, 3AddedMinutes has profiled how the Magpies will likely line up as well as several injury updates.
Goalkeeper & Defence
Martin Dubravka is safe as houses to start between the sticks. The Slovak would not have been happy with his display last weekend but, in fairness, the defence hardly helped.
As for the backline, Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar and Sven Botman are no-brainers to feature - the area of contention comes at left-back. Dan Burn stunk the place out against Luton, with most pinning the blame on him for failing to win.
But he played well at Fulham and Aston Villa, giving Howe a conundrum in defence. Tino Livramento is waiting in the wings to snap another opportunity should the Toon boss drop Burn.
There is little Howe can tinker with in his engine room given the absentee list. Lewis Miley, Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff have been run into the ground this season and must buckle up again on Saturday.
A change of system is the only alternative but Howe has stayed loyal to his 4-3-3 formation despite concerns over the lack of defensive stability. On a positive note, Elliot Anderson is back in full training and could be nearing a comeback.
The Whitley Bay native’s return would provide some much-needed respite to Howe’s midfield. Anderson has not featured since the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace in October.
Callum Wilson and Harvey Barnes came off the bench last weekend and, at the time of writing, did so unscathed. The latter bagged the equaliser to mark 26 games of frustration with a goalscoring return.
It is plausible that both players will be thrown in against Forest from the start following Anthony Gordon’s injury. As for the right flank, a straight shoot-out between Miguel Almiron and Jacob Murphy appears likely.
Howe has favoured Almiron throughout his time on Tyneside. However, at Aston Villa and in the first half versus Luton, Murphy provided width and looked sharp despite the long lay-off.