Soccer English Premier League 18 March 2023
Nottingham vs Newcastle - Match Preview
Steve Cooper is warning his Nottingham Forest players that they have to up their game if they are to secure their place in the Premier League (PL). The manager was critical of his side for not “doing the non-negotiables a little bit better” as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham last weekend, a fifth match without a victory (D2, L3).
That run of form means the Tricky Trees are now just two points above the relegation zone as they fight to avoid an immediate return to the Championship. The bulk of their bad form has been on the road though, as they are on an impressive nine-game unbeaten run at the City Ground (W4, D5), helping them to collect 20 of their 26 points this season on home soil.
Fans with a long memory may doubt their side can extend that to ten matches without defeat though, as visitors Newcastle are unbeaten against Forest in the top-flight since 1988 (W6, D4)! The Magpies also arrive in Nottingham hoping they have turned the corner, with a late 2-1 win over Wolves last time out ending their five-match winless streak across all competitions (D2, L3).
Manager Eddie Howe was quick to praise his side’s “character” after that victory, as they rejuvenated their hopes of qualifying for a UEFA competition for the first time since 2006/07. Newcastle are now just four points behind fourth-placed Spurs, but they surely need to find their goalscoring touch in order to finish in a Champions League place, as they have netted just once in their last four PL away fixtures (D3, L1).
📋 Key battle: Forest top scorer Brennan Johnson has netted first or last in nine of his last 11 goalscoring appearances at the club level. He may be trying to outscore Newcastle’s Alexander Isak, who has a relatively mediocre win percentage of 59% across his last 22 goalscoring games, including against Wolves last weekend (W13, D5, L4).
⚡ Hot stat: Just ten of Forest’s 26 PL matches have seen both teams score, a joint low for the position.
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