Wednesday night sees the League Cup interfere with the Premier League campaign and much talk about what kind of Newcastle team v Nottingham Forest will be selected.

Many fans automatically assuming it will be a weak team chosen by Rafa Benitez but I don’t think it will be anywhere near as understrength as fans believe.

Through various factors, tonight’s team may be slightly easier to predict that is the norm with cup selections, the small size of Newcastle’s squad, injuries/knocks, plus what Rafa Benitez has had to say in advance of the game.

The manager is without Florian Lejeune, Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie, Javier Manquillo and Isaac Hayden, thanks to suspension and injuries/knocks.

Plus Rafa gave us additional clues

Rafa Benitez asked why he won’t play a first choice team v Forest:

“First of all, because we have some injuries.

“Second of all, because we don’t want to play too many players in three days.

For example Matt Ritchie has a knock on his knee, so he cannot play.

“But some of the players, they were coming back from the World Cup and weren’t fit.

“They have to play, if not they will not be fit ever, because the match fitness is something you only get playing games. These players have to play in these games in order to get that match fitness.”

Taking all of that together, starting from the back I think Karl Darlow will obviously start and Dubravka rested.

In front of him, I think a very strong chance Rafa will go with three centre-backs, he did so against Chelsea and very likely will against Man City, so every chance in my opinion – especially with new players needing the chance to integrate.

In the past Rafa has said it is different for defenders playing a number of games in quick succession compared to strikers/midfielders who cover more ground. So I think every chance of Clark, Schar and Fernandez all starting again.

As for the wing-backs, both Yedlin and Dummett can have a night off.

Jamie Sterry could get a rare start on the right, whilst Rafa Benitez has indicated Kenedy is likely to start after missing Sunday and not having much football pre-season.

Sean Longstaff should get a start in midfield and I fancy Ki to stay in alongside him, Diame saved for what will be a busy day for him at Man City.

Yoshinori Muto will start up front and I think Rafa will go for a more fluid and less physical selection at the front end.

Both Perez and Atsu could start in support of Muto, completing a team that whilst it is sort of players such as Lascelles, Shelvey and Ritchie, does have enough to beat Forest in my opinion, plus potentially play some decent football in doing so.

A difficult team selection for Rafa Benitez but this is how I think they will line up:

newcastle team v nottingham forest

Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United Match Betting:

Forest win 85/40Draw 5/2Newcastle win 13/10

Perez to score first goal 7/1NUFC to win 2-0 12/1 3 or more goals in first half of match 11/2

All Forest v Newcastle betting HERE


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  • Jimblag23

    I think if we sent that team out in that formation, we’d lose.

    • NUFCDan

      Yep, apart from Kenedy who is still young and can blow hot and cold, which is understandable with his limited game time, there is no PL class in that team at all to set it apart from a mid table Championship side. Add in that Forrest will be fired up and playing with a team that are used to playing together we’d lose for sure.

  • Paul Patterson

    Rafa won’t play all three centre backs in a cup game and risk injury and I doubt Muto will start up front. It’ll be back to 4-4-1-1.

    • Mxpx

      Agreed on formation I think muto will be in the number 10 role though

  • Phil Yare

    it will be one upfront, because that never works and its best to stick with that

    -interestingly, despite years of being debit ridden and receiving no premier league money for 20 years AND finishing 13th (that’s the league below us)…..forest bought a player for 13m, 3m off our record signing – the parasite owen

    exorbitant! or maybe mr ashley had just exhausted the free/bargain market

  • Kenny

    The Hoss🐴 will start & bang in a
    Hat 🎩 trick

    • Wor Lass

      He`ll want to keep the Hoss safe for Citeh – he`s our important 11th defender.

  • mentalman

    The forest defenders would love the heading practice against those forwards who have an average height of about 5ft

  • wheyayeman

    Why turn up at all? The manager has nowt to put forward to make a go of it and as the tossp#t owner wants us out anyway it literally makes no sense to waste time and effort and money going to or even checking on the result. Ashley doesn’t want to go for the league he doesn’t want to go for good established players, he doesn’t want to develop the training ground he doesn’t want to face or listen to the fans, he doesn’t want to back the manager he doesn’t want to develop the ground, he doesn’t want to spend anything. Selfish sh#te Ashley you [email protected] f off!

  • Rev

    A more fluid team …. right. Just like when we stormed the championship with our all out attack at the likes of Burton. We only have one system, defend, counter and hope for goals from set pieces. Thats because the Owner wont spend the money to guarantee that we beat the likes of Forest, Boro, or Whichever premier reserve/academy team we get drawn against.

  • Wor Lass

    Well, I think you`ve got Sterry and Longstaff right! Guessing rafa`s starting 11 became quite easy towards the end of last season but everything`s back to “normal” now.

  • Wezza

    Same old cups for us. Going out at the first hurdle because the owner only wants us to stay in the Premier League. Then what? Rinse and repeat. We need the FCB out of our club!

  • Ruel Intentions

    We’ll lose tonight whoever we field.

    Nice to see that Sky have stuck us on TV again expecting an upset. Their desire to set up a narrative nowadays is disgusting. Rather than stick to showing an reporting the games, they try and engineer stories.

    It’s why they keep showing all our games – they smell blood. Never get a more competitive home game on Sky, do we? Just the top 6 and then away games that we might lose.

    Then we have to put up with a studio full of idiots saying that our approach is disgusting because it doesn’t entertain anyone. Disgrace, most of all from Souness, under whom we could neither attack nor defend…

  • Superdooperhooper

    So the league cup ‘interferes with the PL ‘now does it? Have you forgotten that we’ve never this cup in our history ? Is staying in the PL for the TV money all that matters now?