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Nottm Forest v Newcastle
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Nottingham Forest v Newcastle preview: Magpies hoping to strengthen European claim

Newcastle are looking to record back-to-back victories when they travel to relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest on Friday.

With the end of the 2022/23 Premier League season not too far away, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle are both desperate for points, albeit for vastly differing reasons. 

Forest remain in a battle for their future in the top-flight and Newcastle are looking to maintain their push for a top-four finish. 

This is the final time these two sides will feature before the international break and both managers will be keen to try and sign off on a positive.

WhatNottingham Forest v Newcastle
WhereCity Ground, Nottingham
When20:00, Friday 17th March 2023
How to watchSky Sports Main Event
OddsNottingham Forest 19/4, Draw 11/4, Newcastle 8/13

City Ground a fortress for Forest 

Nottingham Forest's form at home is a world away from their exploits on the road this season and they'll hope the backing of a vociferous crowd can lead them to victory on Friday. 

Steve Cooper's side are unbeaten in nine games at home, including a win over Liverpool and draws against Chelsea and Manchester City. 

They have lost just three times at the City Ground in the league this term and 20 of their 26 overall points have been achieved on the banks of the Trent. 

After losing 3-1 at Tottenham last Saturday, Forest are looking to avoid suffering back-to-back league defeats for the first time since a run of four in a row between August and October. 

Despite Forest's strong record when hosting they are rated as 9/2 outsiders to pick up all three points and they are 23/20 in the Double Chance market. 

Newcastle need to start building momentum 

Newcastle made a flying start to the season and appear to be well ahead of schedule in their pursuit of securing a Champions League berth. 

They tasted defeat just once in their opening 22 league games, going down 2-1 at Liverpool, but their form has dipped since the turn of the year. 

A run to the final of the Carabao Cup, which ended in defeat to Manchester United, appeared to impact their performances in the league. 

After a run of four games without a win, including back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Manchester City, Newcastle finally got back on the winning path last Sunday when beating Wolves 2-1 at St James' Park. 

They haven't won successive league games since Boxing Day but still remain firmly in the mix for a top-four spot. 

Newcastle sit fifth and are four points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham with two games in hand. Winning on the road has been problematic of late, failing to pick up three points in any of their last four - drawing three and losing one. 

That has largely been down to a struggle in front of goal after drawing a blank in three of those outings. Under 2.5 goals, which can be backed at 8/11, has been a regular feature in their away fixtures, landing seven times across the season and in each of their last four. 

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Johnson absence could prove decisive 

Brennan Johnson was key in helping Forest to earn promotion last season and he's been an influential figure again this campaign. 

The Wales international is their leading scorer with seven league goals and six of those have come at the City Ground - amounting to 35% of their total goals at home. 

He has registered five times in his last four outings at home but is rated as a major doubt for Friday's encounter. 

Johnson was forced off in the loss to Tottenham with a groin problem and Cooper claims he only has a "small chance" of being involved. 

Taiwo Awoniyi is next on the list of scorers for Forest with four goals but he is also sidelined due to injury, while loanee Chris Wood is ineligible to feature against his parent club. 

A lack of threat in the final third could see Forest struggle for goals and a Newcastle win to nil, available at 6/4, appeals.  

Newcastle will be without midfielder Joelinton as he serves the final game of his suspension and Howe will need to make do without Anthony Gordon and Emil Krafth due to injury. 

Miguel Almiron is Newcastle's leading marksman this season and he is expected to come back into the starting XI after scoring from the bench to beat Wolves. 

Almiron, who has netted 11 goals, can be backed at 3/1 to score anytime. 

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