Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United Cheat Sheet
Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United
Nottingham Forest looked to have improved enough to pull them away from the drop zone after the World Cup break, however a run of 5 matches without a win means they are still involved in the ridiculously tight relegation battle.
Nottingham Forest have some extremely tough fixtures left, they still have to play Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, therefore any points here could be valuable. Brennan Johnson may not be fit enough to start which will make life tough for Forest and they will also be without Chris Wood who is unavailable due to the terms of his loan. This makes Forest’s jobs particularly difficult here, however they have lost just 1 of their last 12 matches at home which will give them confidence.
Newcastle got back to winning ways last weekend with a win against Wolves at home, with Liverpool’s loss to Bournemouth they are now back in control of their top 4 hopes. Neither Liverpool or Brighton have league fixtures this weekend, however Spurs play Southampton, so Newcastle may need a win to keep up. Newcastle will be without Joelinton who is suspended and Anthony Gordon has also picked up an injury. Beyond these absentees, Newcastle still have a very strong squad available and their fans will head down to Nottingham feeling confident.
Newcastle average more corners per match than any other team in the Premier League at a ridiculously high 6.92 per match. Nottingham Forest concede the 2nd most corners of any team in the Premier League, allowing 6.23 conceded per match. Newcastle have had at least 5 corners in 7 of their 11 away matches in the league this season, only failing to have at least 5 against Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Southampton. The last time the teams played, Newcastle managed a whopping 11 corners and they will likely have plenty of corners again here. Nottingham Forest are missing some of their key attacking players which means they will struggle to break out of defence on the counter and Newcastle could dominate possession over them. This means that Newcastle will get in even more positions in which they can win corners.
Nottingham Forest have improved a lot going forward recently, they have scored 10 goals in their last 10 league matches after scoring just 11 in their first 16. Their counter-attacking link up play is much improved and Morgan Gibbs-White is a vital part of that. Gibbs-White has averaged 1.97 shots per 90 so far this season and since the World Cup break has been even more involved in Forest attacks. Since the new year, Gibbs-White has had at least 2 shots in 9 of his 12 matches in all competitions, only failing to do so against Spurs, Manchester City and Wolves. Gibbs-White has had at least 2 shots in matches against Manchester United, Chelsea and Fulham in this time so he can perform against the bigger teams and with the likes of Brennan Johnson and Chris Wood missing, Gibbs-White will be the focal point of Forest’s attacks.
Playing against Allan Saint-Maximin is one of the most daunting tasks for and opposition right back. The Frenchman draws 1.21 fouls per 90 and has been a menace for opposition right backs recently. In his last 5 starts, the opposition right backs have committed 1, 3, 2, 2 and 1 fouls. Forest’s starting right back right now is Serge Aurier who has some moments of madness in him. Aurier averages 0.87 fouls per 90 and has committed a foul in all of his last 5 matches. Against Saint-Maximin he has a really tough game and looks good value for a foul here.
While allowing opposition teams a lot of possession, Nottingham Forest do draw a lot of fouls. Forest draw 10.8 fouls per 90 on average in the league, the 6th highest of any team despite seeing so little of the ball. In Forest’s last 3 matches there is a clear theme of opposition midfielders committing fouls. Hojbjerg committed 2 fouls and Skipp 1 foul against Forest, Doucoure had 3, Onana had 2 and Gueye had 1 against Forest and Soucek had 2 fouls when West Ham played Forest.
Therefore, we can look to Newcastle’s midfield for who may commit fouls in this match and with Joelinton suspended, Joe Willock will surely start in central midfield. Willock has averaged 1.36 fouls per 90 so far this season and has committed a foul in 4 of his last 5 starts for the club. The only game he didn’t commit a foul having started was when he was subbed off after 35 minutes due to injury. All of these 5 matches were against teams in the bottom nine so at a similar level to Nottingham Forest, he looks a good pick for a foul in this match.
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