Nottingham Forest – Newcastle United: Isak Keeps Newcastle’s Top Four Charge Alive And Kicking (1-2)
This time last year, Newcastle United were exactly where Nottingham Forest currently are based on the league table. Such a fixture would have been crucial for them in a relegation battle at the time, but this year, this game was a must-win to keep their Champions League hopes alive. The visitors did manage to come away with all three points, but they were far from smooth sailing in the process.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
Newly-promoted Nottingham Forest attracted a lot of attention for their transfer business, as they spent over €180 million across two windows. This investment has helped them stay out of the relegation zone for the most part, but they have not managed to pull clear of it. Even though they went into this match in 14th place, they only had a two-point buffer to the drop zone. Having picked up just two points from their last three games, this was high time to get a win again.
Newcastle United spent roughly the same amount of money on new arrivals as Nottingham Forest, but they did so in order to join the big boys in the race for Europe. They have certainly succeeded and even spent a fair bit of time in the top four, but just one win in their last six matches has seen them drop off a bit. They too needed to turn things around quickly.
Nottingham Forest’s injury list was eight players long, so their lineup mostly picked itself by virtue of availability. Keylor Navas was in goal behind a defense of Serge Aurier, Felipe, Moussa Niakhaté and Renan Lodi. Ryan Yates partnered Jonjo Shelvey in midfield with Morgan Gibbs-White ahead . . .