Newcastle United will be hoping for a dream start to the 2022/23 Premier League season when they face Nottingham Forest.
Steve Cooper’s side head to St James’ Park on August 6th, as they prepare for their return to the top flight.
As for Eddie Howe and co, it could be the start of a very special season on Tyneside.
Matt Targett is the club’s only senior signing so far this summer, but the Magpies are hoping to land a few more new faces before the season starts.
With that in mind, we’ve put together our dream Newcastle starting XI for the first game against Forest…
As it stands, Martin Dubrakva will begin the season as Newcastle’s number one.
However, Howe is reportedly keen to add more competition in between the sticks, with plenty of other stoppers linked with a move to St James’ Park.
Sky Sports state that Newcastle want to sign Nick Pope from Burnley, and he would be a really exciting addition. He’s been one of the best in the Premier League in recent years, and would represent an improvement on our current first choice goalkeeper.
Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, Matt Targett
After flirting with a back five, Howe eventually committed to playing a back four with Newcastle last season. It eventually worked after some teething problems, with the likes of Fabian Schar stepping up.
He will surely be a starter against Forest, but he might not be alongside Dan Burn. The pursuit of Sven Botman is getting tedious, but he would still be a fantastic signing for the Magpies. He’s very highly rated, and a promising Newcastle career could start on August 6th against Forest.
Our full-backs for the opening day are obvious – Kieran Trippier and Matt Targett. For a combined fee of £27million, we’ve acquired two fantastic defenders.
James Ward-Prowse, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton
Howe’s got options in midfield, but talk of a move for Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse is tantalising. The 27-year-old is one of the Premier League’s best players outside the ‘big six’, and he’d be a great addition to our squad.
Ward-Prowse is a leader and a brilliant character, and his free-kicks aren’t bad too…
He would slot into the right-sided centre-midfield role, allowing Bruno Guimaraes to play at the base of midfield. From there he can dictate the entire game and protect the defence.
Bruno’s Brazilian pal should be to his left, as Toon fans eagerly await a full season of Joelinton in midfield.
Moussa Diaby, Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin
Callum Wilson ended last season in fine form, shining against Arsenal then bagging a brace away to Burnley.
His second goal on that day was set up by Allan Saint-Maximin, who should start against Forest on the left wing.
However, we’re praying Howe adds more firepower and signs an equally exciting player to operate down the right. The man in question is Moussa Diaby, who could cost a club record fee of £60million.
He’d cost a hell of a lot of money, but what a player he is. With him on the right and Saint-Maximin on the left, Wilson will be well supplied and hopefully scoring goals for fun in this fantasy XI.
Dream XI to face Forest: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Targett; Ward-Prowse, Bruno, Joelinton; Diaby, Wilson, Saint-Maximin.