BBC pundit Chris Sutton has provided his predictions for this weekend’s Premier League action. He is picking Newcastle to pick up a second straight victory with a 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest. Sutton also predicted a slim victory against Wolves last week.
Here is his take on the match:
Newcastle had lost a bit of ground in the race for the top four before they beat Wolves last weekend. They got a bit lucky, because Wolves could have had a penalty and their goalkeeper Nick Pope could have been sent off if it was given, but it was an important result for them.
Forest, meanwhile, were well beaten at Tottenham. Their performance was so disappointing, and they were very lucky to get a goal – they barely had an attack.
Steve Cooper’s side rely so much on their home form because their results on the road have been terrible, but it means they are under pressure to get points here, and I think that might begin to tell.
It smells a bit like a draw to me, but Newcastle need the win and Forest can’t play Chris Wood [who is on loan from the Magpies] and also have issues at the back.
Forest haven’t lost at the City Ground in the league since the middle of September but I think that run ends here.
Sutton doesn’t sound too convinced of his prediction but Newcastle will have the momentum from last weekend’s win. Forest have struggled of late without a win in their last five matches. Though they are difficult to defeat at the City Ground.
There are incentives for both sides with Newcastle keeping pace with the top four and Nottingham just 2 points above the bottom three. One potential advantage for the Magpies is that Forest have an extensive injury list.
Eddie Howe hopes to have the majority of his players available for tomorrow’s clash. He also admitted there are some players struggling with knocks. Callum Wilson has not trained this week but is expected to make the squad.
Fabian Schar has not been included in the Swiss team for the looming international break. The reason cited is a foot injury. The defender has been in training this week and the issue is unlikely to affect his availability tomorrow. He’ll get some time to rest during the break.
This is another vital match for Newcastle if Champions League hopes are still harbored. Another three points heading into the international break will go a long way in keeping Newcastle comfortably in the top third of the table.