Chris Sutton makes ‘lucky’ Newcastle United claim ahead of Nottingham Forest clash

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Chris Sutton has predicted the outcome of Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United.

Chris Sutton believes Newcastle United are lucky to have Nick Pope available to face Nottingham Forest - but is tipping the goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 win at the City Ground tonight (kick-off 8pm).

Pope was at the centre of a controversial decision last Sunday when a heavy touch from Sven Botman’s backpass was pounced on by Wolves striker Raul Jimenez. The Mexican went to ground in the box, but referee Andrew Madley waved away the visitors’ penalty appeals. VAR agreed with the on-field call.

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Sutton reflected on an “important result” for Eddie Howe’s men, who moved back up to fifth in the Premier League table with a first win in six matches.

Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nick Pope of Newcastle United collide during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James Park on March 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nick Pope of Newcastle United collide during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James Park on March 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nick Pope of Newcastle United collide during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James Park on March 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“This is such a big game, at both ends of the table,” Sutton said in his BBC prediction column.

“Newcastle had lost a bit of ground in the race for the top four before they beat Wolves last weekend. They got a bit lucky, because Wolves could have had a penalty and their goalkeeper Nick Pope could have been sent off if it was given, but it was an important result for them.”

United can move within one point of fourth place Tottenham Hotspur with a victory. Forest, meanwhile, can go five points above the relegation zone ahead of the rest of the weekend’s action.

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“Forest, meanwhile, were well beaten at Tottenham,” Sutton continued. “Their performance was so disappointing, and they were very lucky to get a goal - they barely had an attack.

“Steve Cooper’s side rely so much on their home form because their results on the road have been terrible, but it means they are under pressure to get points here, and I think that might begin to tell.

“It smells a bit like a draw to me, but Newcastle need the win and Forest can’t play Chris Wood [who is on loan from the Magpies] and also have issues at the back.

“Forest haven’t lost at the City Ground in the league since the middle of September but I think that run ends here.”

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