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Match Previews

Match preview: Newcastle (H)

2 December 2016

Nottingham Forest welcome league-leaders Newcastle United for the Sky Bet Championship clash on Friday to try and continue their winning run (kick-off 7.45pm).

After two wins on the spin, Nottingham Forest come into Friday night's televised match in high spirits. The 2-0 win at Ipswich brought a first away win of the season and a first clean sheet, and the 5-2 win at Barnsley last week was equally impressive as The Reds aim to climb the Championship table.

Now Philippe Montanier's side face a Newcastle United side flying high at the top of the league under the lights at The City Ground. The Magpies come into the game on the back of two defeats - a 1-0 reverse at home to Blackburn last weekend and a penalty shoot-out defeat against Hull City in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.

Those defeats followed a nine-game winning streak which equalled a club record, and Rafael Benitez's side will be aiming to get back on track in their quest for promotion.

Hildeberto Pereira will sit out as he serves the final match of his three game suspension, while Dani Pinillos, Chris Cohen, Matty Fryatt and Armand Traore are sidelined through injury. Britt Assombalonga is set to return to the matchday squad after missing last week's win over Barnsley, while Eric Lichaj is a doubt after also missing the win at Oakwell. 

Nicklas Bendtner, David Vaughan and Matty Cash all returned to action last week and are set to be included, while Jack Hobbs is getting closer to a return after playing another 90 minutes for the Under 23s on Tuesday.

Rafael Benitez is expected to make changes again to his side, with former Forest keeper Karl Darlow likely to come back into the team after sitting out the midweek game at Hull City. 

Paul Dummett and Ayoze Perez are also expected to return with Dwight Gayle leading the line after being on the bench for the defeat against Blackburn, but Jesus Gamez will miss out after picking up an injury against Rovers and Jack Colback is also out.

Nottingham Forest

Blackburn Rovers (A) - Lost 2-1
Cardiff City (H) - Lost 2-1
Reading (A) - Lost 2-0
Queens Park Rangers (H) - Drew 1-1
Ipswich Town (A) - Won 2-0
Barnsley (A) - Won 5-2

Newcastle

Preston (H) (EFL Cup) - Won 6-0
Preston (A) - Won 2-1
Cardiff City (H) - Won 2-1
Leeds United (A) - Won 2-0
Blackburn (H) - Lost 1-0
Hull City (A) (EFL Cup) - Drew 1-1 AET (Lost 3-1 on penalties)


Dwight Gayle

The striker was a summer signing from Crystal Palace and he has set the Championship alight so far this season. His 13 goals in 14 league games have propelled him to the top of the scoring charts.

After starting his career in non-league football, the 26-year-old moved to Peterborough from Bishop's Stortford in 2012/13, before making the step up to the Premier League with Palace the following year. 

He scored 26 goals in three years at Selhurst Park before moving to Tyneside in the summer and he will play a big part as Newcastle aim to push for an instant return to the top flight this season. 

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez confirmed he will be making some changes from the side that played at Hull City on Tuesday night and is expecting a tough match against Forest.

He said: "We will have to change some players - how many, we have to decide. When you don't have much time between games, you have to rest players.

"Obviously, after winning so many games in a row, people were not expecting the Blackburn defeat - now, we have to make sure we go back to the good habits. Nottingham Forest are a good team. We know the Championship is always difficult, but teams who are scoring goals and playing well are more dangerous.

"Talking to managers after every game, they are always telling you the same - when you are expecting an easy game, you have a very difficult game. When you expect a difficult game, sometimes it is easier. A lot of things change every week - the style of football, playing two games a week - so you have to be ready."

Tickets are on general sale and are priced (matchday rate in brackets) as follows:

General sale:
Adults - £27 (£29)
Seniors - £19 (£21)
Under 18s - £14 (£14)
Under 12s - £7 (£7)

Family Area:
Adults - £22 (£24)
Seniors - £17 (£19)
Under 18s - £12 (£12)
Under 12s - £6 (£6)

Purchases can be made in-person at the ticket office, online at tickets.nottinghamforest.co.uk or by calling 0115 982 4388.
Live audio commentary of the game will be available on Forest Player HD from 7pm while there will also be live text commentary available on the Forest Wall and on the club's Twitter page from 7.30pm. Forest Player HD will also have extended match highlights from 12pm on Saturday afternoon, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp after the game.

To win:

Nottingham Forest - 7/2
Newcastle United - 3/4
Draw - 13/5

To score first:

Britt Assombalonga - 23/4
Apostolos Vellios - 15/2
Dwight Gayle - 31/10
Aleksandar Mitrovic - 41/10

Fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated.

Birmingham v Barnsley
Blackburn v Huddersfield
Bristol City v Ipswich
Burton v Rotherham
Cardiff v Brighton
Fulham v Reading
Norwich v Brentford
Sheffield Wednesday v Preston
Wigan v Derby
Leeds v Aston Villa (kick-off 5.30pm)

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