Newcastle United predicted XI vs Nottingham Forest: £45m injury blow & Tino Livramento decision made

Newcastle United predicted starting XI vs Nottingham Forest as Tino Livramento decision made.

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has some difficult decisions to make in regards to the starting XI he will name to face Nottingham Forest tonight (kick-off 5:30pm).

The Dan Burn and Tino Livramento conversation has dominated much of the pre-match talk after the latter struggled at left-back during the 4-4 draw at home to Luton Town last weekend.

Burn couldn't live with Chiedozie Ogbene's pace, and he'll face a similar opponent in Anthony Elanga after the Forest winger got the better of him at St James' Park on Boxing Day.

That has increased calls for Livramento to start. Whatever decision Howe makes, he insists it'll be one made on merit. “It's always about merit," said Howe. "No part of me gives a starting berth to a player based on what they did last year, that would be ridiculous. It has to be based on what I see every day in training, and of course taking into account the games.

“But you have to remember, Dan broke his back not so long ago, came back early for the benefit of the team and we were only too keen to welcome him back because we'd missed his presence in the team, so he's earned his place back.

“Three games ago, he scored against Fulham and against Aston Villa, he was made Man of the Match. As always in football, you're judged on the last few seconds. That's how it's always been and that's how it has to be."

On Livramento, Howe added: “He’s an outstanding player and that’s why I fought so hard to sign him. A real talent, athletically very good and of course, his best years are ahead of him. I’m the biggest fan of Tino that there can be.

"His primary position is right-back and he’s fighting with Kieran [Trippier] and we’ve spoken at length about Kieran’s qualities and what he brings to the team. But he will get his time and he will, hopefully, a lot of games for this football club.

"I do love him at left-back as well, I think he’s done extremely well there when you consider that isn’t his strongest side. I think he’s been incredible in that position as well."

But it isn't just the defence where Howe has a big call to make. With Alexander Isak ruled out and Anthony Gordon a major doubt, Howe will need to rotate his attack.

Callum Wilson is the obvious candidate to lead the line but in the wide areas, Howe has Jacob Murphy, Miguel Almiron and the returning Harvey Barnes to select from.

Here's our predicted Newcastle United starting XI:

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