Newcastle team v Nottingham Forest – This now looks set to be the starting eleven
Not long now until we find out the identity of the Newcastle team v Nottingham Forest.
Twelve days until the big kick-off on Saturday 6 August.
Eddie Howe and his first team squad currently out in Portugal preparing for the new season, on Saturday they had a double header friendly behind closed doors, with another friendly to come on Tuesday night against Benfica.
This below now looks set to be the starting eleven of the Newcastle team v Nottingham Forest, as the NUFC head coach looks to kick things off with a win. United having a tough schedule to follow in August, including games against Man City and Liverpool.
An intriguing contest to start off with, who plays in goal.
Martin Dubravka had an excellent end to the season, in the final 20 Premier League games, if you take out the games at Spurs and Man City – the keeper only conceded 11 goals in the other 18 matches.
However, it is his toughest competition so far at NUFC and I think Nick Pope has been brought in as the new number one, if he performs in training and the pre-season friendlies. Especially with him hoping to be on the plane to Qatar in November, I doubt he would have signed up for Newcastle if not given a strong indication he is set to start as number one.
Arguably the easiest positions in the team to predict, Kieran Trippier and Matt Targett to start in the full back positions.
In the middle of the defence, it looks three fighting for two places.
Fabian Schar and Dan Burn were great together once the big lad from Blyth came home. However, Sven Botman now added to the mix.
Eddie Howe has made clear that he sees no problem playing two left-footed players together and so I think Schar will be the unlucky one, plus the head coach making the point that Botman is two footed, so no issue for him playing on the right alongside Burn.
Joelinton and Bruno G are another pair who pick themselves, exciting to see just how good they can be this coming season together in midfield.
As for who joins them…Sean Longstaff did well late last season, Joe Willock has looked decent in pre-season, but for me the third position in midfield will go to Jonjo Shelvey. Missed the end of the season through injury but has returned from the break, fitter than he has ever been, desperate to be involved.
Callum Wilson will of course start, injuries permitting…whilst ASM will also be in the team, so one space left.
A bit like that third spot in midfield, a few contenders for that space on the right.
Ryan Fraser did well before getting injured last season, Jacob Murphy filled in at times, but it was Miguel Almiron who started six of the last seven PL games last season and Newcastle won four of those six, the exceptions were the Man City and Liverpool matches.
A stunning winner against Palace was his only goal of the season but Miggy has been getting amongst the goals in the friendlies. Whilst they clearly aren’t like for like with competitive matches, the pre-season kickabouts do though seem to show he is in good spirits and as well as his undoubted graft, Eddie Howe may just be able to unlock more of a goal threat from Almiron.
I know some of you may be shouting out ‘what about if we sign somebody’ but I think even if anybody else comes in before the season kicks off, Eddie Howe wouldn’t be parachuting them straight into his starting eleven for the first game.
So this is my predicted Newcastle team v Nottingham Forest:
Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Sven Botman, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Jonjo Shelvey, Joelinton, Bruno G, Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson
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