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Newcastle vs. Nott. Forest - Match thread: Old-times classic for starters

It’s time for Newcastle to defeat a former European champion if they want to become one

Newcastle United v Athletic Bilbao - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Newcastle United is welcoming freshly-promoted Nottingham Forest to St James Park this weekend to open both clubs’ Premier League campaign. The Magpies, after putting on a massive effort through the second half of last season, are poised to keep building on that foundation and increase the greatness of their results in what some expect to be a continental-football-level year for those upon Tyne. We’ll see how that goes, although one thing is true and that’s the fact that Newcastle is opening their season with all of their players available—except for a banged-up Jonjo Shelvey—and a few defensive reinforcements brought to the squad.

Nottingham Forest is back in the Premier League this year and will boast one of the long-time-coveted players by Newcastle this summer on the final third of the pitch: former Devil Jesse Lingard. He could have been one of the two attackers still to be brought to Tyneside, but alas. The same can be said about goalkeeper Dean Henderson, though the Magpies ultimately went the Nick Pope route and added the former Burnley GK. Anyway, Forest is launching their bid for avoiding relegation starting this Saturday. That’s not to say they’ll struggle and stay at the bottom of the table all year long, but we all know how things often go in the top flight of English football for newly promoted sides.

The recent history between these two teams is, well, pretty much nonexistent. They have barely played a couple of games in the past five years and both outings took place in the EFL Cup. In fact, only four times in the last 11 (!) years have they met in any competition, and only three more times in the 2009-2011 span did they meet prior to their most-recent match before that one took place... in 1999 (!!!)

Kudos to Notts, though, who got the better of the Magpies in the last two matches edging them in back-to-back early League Cup rounds.

Forest is coming off a playoff victory that saw them reach the Premier League and a bunch of random-result preseason games in which they have done a little bit of everything. While it’s true that two of the top-three players from their Championship campaign last year are now out of the club, it’s also a fact that Notts have invested tons of money in building a stronger side to try and finish outside of the relation zone when all is said and done next May.

The likes of Jesse Lingard, Orel Mangala (€13M), Neco Williams (€20M), Omar Richards (€8.5M), Giulian Biancone (€10M), and Taiwo Awoniyi (€20.5M) have landed in Nottingham while only one notable player has left the club via transfer in Brice Samba (€5M to Lens).

Newcastle might be happy about facing a new Premier League outlet to kick their season off, but so might be Notts avoiding any top-half club from last season as their first test at the English football top flight. Both teams will enter the pitch confident about their chances of getting the victory and earning the first three points of the year, but only one will get it and the balance is clearly leaning on Newcastle’s side on a pure talent basis.

Newcastle XI

Nott. Forest XI

Newcastle vs. Nott Forest

  • Date: Saturday, August 6
  • Time: 10:00 am ET, 3:00 pm UK
  • Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle
  • TV: BBC Radio Live 5 (UK), Peacock (USA), fuboTV (Canada)

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Howay the Lads!