Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is expected to name a much changed starting XI against Nottingham Forest from the side beaten by Chelsea as he looks to rotate his side early in the season.
In what is an almost identical repeat of last season’s League Cup clash – the difference being Forest are the home side – the Magpies are looking for their first win of their season, while the Championship outfit are hoping to extend their unbeaten start to the campaign.
However, with Manchester City on the horizon and no pressure placed on the board to succeed in the cups at St James’ Park, Benitez is expected to make as many as six changes to his starting XI, including full debuts for summer signing Yoshinori Muto and homegrown midfielder Sean Longstaff.
The duo look set to take the places of Mohamed Diame and Salomon Rondon, while Karl Darlow, Christian Atsu, Jamie Sterry and Joselu are likely to replace Martin Dubravka, Ciaran Clark, DeAndre Yedlin and Matt Ritchie.
At the heart of defence, Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez, both new arrivals on Tyneside, were both given their first appearances of the season against Chelsea and are expected to keep their places in a bid to build up fitness and in the case of the Swiss international get him acclimatised to English football.
Longstaff, who spent part of last season on loan in League One, should be given the chance to prove his worth to the first team in his debut appearance, with Diame being given a break after appearing in every game so far.
Japanese international Muto has come off the bench in recent matches and so a full debut against Forest is to be expected, while 6’3″ (source: Transfermarkt) giant Joselu, who netted against Chelsea, is likely to take the place of Rondon up top as Benitez rotates his attacking options.