Nottingham Forest vs Newcastle predictions: Goals look assured at City Ground
Nottingham Forest recorded a 3-1 victory at Newcastle on Boxing Day and they will be looking to complete a league double over the Magpies in Saturday’s tea-time kick-off.
Forest have beaten Manchester United 2-1 at home and held Bournemouth to a 1-1 draw in four league outings since that shock victory at St James' Park, whereas Newcastle’s form has tailed off so much that European qualification is far from assured.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are only two points above the relegation zone but this represents a decent opportunity against ninth-placed Newcastle, who have claimed just seven points from their last nine league matches.
Ola Aina, Willy Boly and Ibrahim Sangare remain away at the Africa Cup of Nations so are missing for Forest, along with the injured Chris Wood.
Gonzalo Montiel is a major injury concern and Morgan Gibbs-White must be assessed, but Moussa Niakhate and Cheikhou Kouyate have recently returned from international duty.
Santo also has two healthy striking options with Taiwo Awoniyi and Divock Origi both back fit while January signings Matz Sels, Gio Reyna and Rodrigo Ribeiro are all available for selection.
Ryan Yates and Nicolas Dominguez were suspended for Wednesday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay with Bristol City but are now back in contention.
Newcastle remain without Nick Pope, Joelinton, Matt Targett, Elliott Anderson and Sandro Tonali while Alexander Isak, Jamall Lascelles, Joe Willock and Anthony Gordon are doubtful.
Nottingham Forest were 3-1 winners away at Newcastle over the Christmas period and their only two defeats in their last five league games came by a one-goal margin against Brentford and Arsenal.
Both teams have scored in each of Forest’s last six league games and they have managed only one clean sheet in 11 home league outings.
Newcastle have won only two of their 12 away league games this season, with seven of those matches resulting in defeat.
The Magpies have lost six of their last nine league matches but both teams have scored in their last five.
Eddie Howe’s visitors have conceded at least three goals in four of their last five league matches.
It was an entertaining encounter when these two met at St James' Park in December, with Wood scoring a hat-trick against his former employers to inspire Forest to a 3-1 victory.
There were 34 shots during that contest, 13 of which were on target, and there were a total of 12 corners, which bodes well for another free-flowing fixture.
Newcastle’s struggles on the road potentially leave them vulnerable and, having leaked three goals in five straight league games, Forest may be licking their lips.
But Forest, having failed to keep a clean sheet in 12 league games, cannot be trusted from a defensive perspective either, which points to a glut of goals.
Both teams have scored in Forest’s last six league games while the net has bulged at both ends in Newcastle’s last five.
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