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Big boost for Newcastle United as Nottingham Forest injuries pile up

There were three more injuries at Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

Steve Cooper was already dealing with injuries to Willy Boly, Scott McKenna, Dean Henderson, Taiwo Awoniyi, Giulian Biancone, Omar Richards and Cheikhou Kouyate before the game at Tottenham.

Of those seven, only Kouyate appears to have any chance of being available for the Newcastle United game on Saturday.

But the worst was yet to come, because in addition to losing 3-1 at Tottemham, three more injuries at Nottingham Forest.

Steve Cooper speaking to Nottinghamshire Live after Saturday’s defeat:

“Wayne Hennessy felt his knee so he couldn’t sit on the bench.

“Brennan Johnson came out with a groin strain; We don’t know how bad it is yet, we’ll see how it is in the next day or two.

“He has been a very important player for us, but we will see how he is. Let’s see when he calms down, let’s see what the scanner says, and we cross our fingers that it’s not as serious as these injuries can be.

“Woody (Chris Wood) was so unlucky. He goes on, and in his first moment in the game he takes a really hard hit to the thigh that really swells up instantly like you wouldn’t believe.

“He tried to keep going, but it was just impossible. When she got to the middle of the line and I saw her, I knew she wouldn’t be able to continue, even if she tried. That was really unfortunate.”

Nottingham Forest have conceded 47 Premier League goals this season, only Bournemouth (51) have conceded more.

However, it is arguably scoring goals that now looks like an even more daunting problem for Forest.

As it is, they have only scored 21 Premier League goals this season, just one more than the lowest total for any PL club.

Those 21 Premier League goals came from:

7 Brennan Johnson

4 Taiwo Awoniji

2 Morgan Gibbs-White,

1 Chris Wood, Joe Worrall, Lewis O’Brien, Sam Surridge, Cheikhou Kouyate, Serge Aurier, Emmanuel Dennis (plus own goal)

Brennan Johnson has undoubtedly been Forest’s best player and biggest scoring threat this season, scoring seven of the twenty goals scored by Forest players.

With a groin problem detected at the weekend, it’s very hard to see any chance of Steve Cooper risking his star player, even if the scans show nothing really serious. After taking on Newcastle, Forest will face two relegation rivals in quick succession: Wolves at home on Saturday 1 April and Leeds away on Tuesday 4 April. If Johnson’s injury isn’t that serious, he would have three weeks to recover if he doesn’t face Newcastle.

With Taiwo Awoniya definitely ruled out, that leaves Morgan Gibbs-White with two goals as PL’s top available scorer. Chris Wood is on loan from Newcastle, so he couldn’t have played on Friday anyway.

So of this season’s scorers, Steve Cooper will likely only have Gibbs-White (2), Worrall (1), Aurier (1), Surridge (1) and Dennis (1) available to potentially start.

Lewis O’Brien (1) is set to join DC United and Cheikhou Kouyate (1) has been out since November so it’s highly unlikely he’ll be considered a starter even if he makes it through in matchday form of Friday.

It’s a huge boost for Newcastle United to have Brennan Johnson in particular, he looks like a real prospect and in the past Newcastle have been one of the many clubs credited with interest.

Reading the comments from Forest fans before the game, there doesn’t seem to be much positivity, with Johnson’s injury being a real disappointment.

As for Newcastle United, it’s hard not to see this as a great opportunity to build on Sunday’s win over Wolves.

Getting back-to-back wins before this international break would be a real boost for all four main hopes.

Full Newcastle United match and live TV schedule so far confirmed until the end of April 2023:

Friday March 17, 2023 – Nottingham Forest v Newcastle (8pm) Sky Sports

Sunday 2 April 2023: Newcastle United v Man U (4:30pm) Sky Sports

Wednesday 5 April 2023 – West Ham v Newcastle (8pm) Sky Sports

Saturday 8 April 2023: Brentford v Newcastle (3pm)

Saturday 15 April 2023 – Aston Villa – Newcastle (12:30pm) BT Sport

Sunday 23 April 2023 – Newcastle v Tottenham (2pm) Sky Sports (***Can still be moved again)

Thursday 27 April 2023 – Everton v Newcastle (7:45pm) BT Sport

Sunday 30 April 2023 – Newcastle – Southampton (2:00 p.m.)


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