Newcastle United could have a huge advantage over tonight’s hosts as Steve Cooper could have 10 first-team players missing from his Nottingham Forest squad selection.
Forest’s squad, despite signing 30 new players this season, is looking rather depleted as they come up against Newcastle at the City Ground tonight as Newcastle World reports that Cooper could have 10 players missing from his first-team squad.
The massive injury list couldn’t come at a worse time for the East Midlands club as they’ve found themselves sucked back into the relegation dogfight after they’d managed to climb away from danger with a good run of results.
Newcastle will be confident heading to Forest
It’ll not help them that Newcastle come into this game off the back of a much-needed win which could have restored confidence levels to that of the pre-World Cup days.
Forest have a couple of long-term injuries in the shape of Omar Richards and Willy Boly who will not feature again this season with a fractured leg and hamstring injury respectively. There’s also Guilian Biancone who’s been out since November after injuring is ACL in training.
Scott McKenna, Dean Henderson and Taiwo Awoniyi despite being close to returns, aren’t expected to return to action until after the International break.
Cheikhou Kouyate, Wayne Hennessey and Brennan Johnson could all be set to miss out too with various niggles.
There could be a couple of familiar faces in red tonight
Finally, Chris Wood is ineligible to play as his permanent deal doesn’t actually kick in until the summer so despite triggering the buyout clause in his loan deal, he’s still technically a Newcastle player.
Two names not on that list of missing players who will be familiar to the Toon Army are Jack Colback and the recently departed Jonjo Shelvey who could both feature.
Meanwhile, Eddie Howe will be without Anthony Gordon whose injury was set to keep him out until after the international break, but might actually be worse than first feared. Joelinton will also be missing as he serves the second game of his two-match ban for the accumulation of 10 yellow cards this campaign.
The contrast in fortunes in terms of player availability will only add to the feeling that this game should be an easy win for Newcastle. Of course football isn’t that predictable and there’s no room for complacency, especially given Forest’s penchant for grabbing shock results this season.