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Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United- Can the Magpies get back on track?

Newcastle United travel to Nottingham on Friday night hoping to put the disappointment of the penalty shootout loss in midweek behind them. 

Hull City v Newcastle United - EFL Cup Quarter-Final
Rafa Benitez and Jonjo Shelvey talk following the penalty shootout defeat to Hull.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The home side have been on roll as of late. They demolished Barnsley 5-2, a team that were defensively solid against Newcastle earlier in the season.

Midfielder Henri Lansbury has always been a consistent performer at this level, and the ex Arsenal man is definitely someone to watch. Britt Assombalonga has had fitness concerns throughout the season, but looks likely to spearhead the Forest attack.

Forest manager Philippe Montanier has favoured a 3-5-1 wing-back system lately, although first choice right back Hildeberto Pereira has been fined by the club and already been sent off three times this season. So, Michael Mancienne will probably keep his place. In the middle of the park, Pajtim Kasami, who is on loan from Greek champions Olympiacos will play alongside Lansbury. Ex Southampton left back Danny Fox played last time out, but Eric Lichaj may be recalled.

As for Newcastle, the injury situation is unchanged. Rafa Benitez is reluctant to risk midfielder Jack Colback or defender Grant Hanley. Rob Elliot is close to a return, but his lack of match fitness and Matz Sels' lack of form means that Karl Darlow will retake his place between the sticks. Jesus Gamez has undergone a successful operation on a collarbone injury and has began his six week recovery.

Following the midweek game at Hull, several Newcastle players may be rested for Friday night's game. The likes of Dwight Gayle, Mo Diame and Matt Ritchie may drop out, with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez and Christian Atsu waiting in the wings.

A win for Newcastle will increase the gap between them and second placed Brighton to five points. A defeat though will bring fans back down to reality after weeks of excitement. Rafa Benitez will know that nothing short of a top display will reward his side with all three points. It is beginning to seem that with every passing week, Newcastle are facing their biggest test of the season. Consistency is what will get them out of this division at the end of it all in May. There is no room for error whatsoever.

Likely line-ups

Nottingham Forest: Stojkovic, Mills, Perquis, Worrall, Mancienne, Fox, Lam, Kasami, Lansbury, Assombalonga

Newcastle United: Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Shelvey, Hayden, Atsu, Ayoze, Gouffran, Mitrovic

Score prediction: Nottingham Forest 2-2 Newcastle United

Where to Follow:

Go90 Will not be broadcasting the match, however, you can read our outrageous tweets on our Twitter page.

BBC will also have a live match commentary available which we will share with all fans through both our Facebook and Twitter pages.