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Sven Botman among Eddie Howe’s 8 Newcastle undroppables vs Nottingham Forest

Eddie Howe has eight undroppable players at Newcastle United, like Sven Botman, ahead of hosting Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the 2022/23 Premier…

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Eddie Howe has eight undroppable players at Newcastle United, like Sven Botman, ahead of hosting Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the 2022/23 Premier League season.

The Toon welcome the 2021/22 Championship play-off winners to St James’ Park to raise the curtain for the campaign on Saturday, August 6. Howe will be hoping his first full term at the helm will now see the Magpies climb the table further after taking an 11th place finish.

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Newcastle appointed Howe to replace Steve Bruce in November with the club 19th and in the relegation zone on five points after 11 winless games. Yet the Tyneside outfit would go on to win 13 from their following 27, plus five draws, for the sixth-best points haul with 44.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Newcastle have backed Howe in the summer market to now build a squad they believe can break into the top-half. They paid Aston Villa £15m to buy Matt Targett after his loan, paid Burnley £12m to get goalkeeper Nick Pope and paid LOSC Lille £35m for defender Botman.

Howe has 8 undroppable Newcastle players ahead of Nottingham Forest clash

Howe remains hopeful of further strengthening his side before the window closes with the Magpies exploring possible deals for forwards. The Daily Mail cite Leicester City star James Maddison as a £40m target, and Sky Germany cite interest in Chelsea striker Timo Werner.

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United chiefs could struggle to get either transfer over the line before Steve Cooper’s City Ground natives travel to Tyneside. But Howe still has eight undroppable Newcastle players – barring any injuries – ahead of hosting Nottingham Forest to kick off the 2022/23 season.

Botman among 8 undroppable Newcastle players after summer switch

All of Newcastle’s summer signings so far in Pope, Botman and Targett are among Howe’s eight undroppable players. Martin Dubravka appears to have lost first-choice status at St James’ Park to Pope, with the Daily Mail adding he may feature in their deal for Maddison.

Leicester have shown an interest in Dubravka possibly moving to the King Power Stadium with Kasper Schmeichel joining OGC Nice. The Slovakian was Howe’s No.1 last season with eight clean sheets in 26 Premier League games following the Toon boss’ debut at the helm.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Botman has also entered Newcastle’s list of undroppable players, having been Howe’s top centre-half target this summer, per Sky Sports. The Dutchman has moved to Tyneside after 79 appearances for Lille across the past two years, while winning the 2020/21 Ligue 1 title.

Targett, likewise, will be among the first names on Howe’s teamsheet against Nottingham Forest, providing the Newcastle star is fit. The 26-year-old left-back started in all 16 of the Premier League games available to him whilst on loan during the latter half of last season.

Kieran Trippier is also undroppable on the opposing side of Howe’s defence, following the right-back’s £12m January transfer from Atletico Madrid. But Howe still has one slot in his backline available at centre-half for either Jamaal Lascelles or Dan Burn to stake a claim to.

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Howe faces on selection dilemma when naming three-man midfield core

Howe similarly faces one selection dilemma while naming the three men to fill his midfield core against Nottingham Forest. Bruno Guimaraes proved why he is undroppable for the Magpies after joining from Lyon for £41.5m in January, having continually stolen the show.

Joelinton has also emerged as one of the Toon’s most important midfielders since Howe replaced Bruce last year. The Brazilian went from a £40m flop at centre-forward to being named by Newcastle as the club’s Player of the Year for his all-action, box-to-box efforts.

The final name in Howe’s engine room is likely to be Joe Willock, meanwhile. Jonjo Shelvey is to miss Newcastle’s curtain-raiser with Nottingham Forest, after he suffered a hamstring injury and possible nerve damage in the Magpies’ pre-season friendly loss against Benfica.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

One slot up for grabs in Newcastle attack with two currently undroppable

Similarly, there is one slot up for grabs in Howe’s attack with two of the forward line, right now, undroppable against Nottingham Forest. Callum Wilson will expect to start as Howe’s first-choice centre-forward as he bids to put an injury-plagued 2021/22 term behind him.

Wilson only started 16 of his 18 Premier League appearances, after missing 20 between his quad muscle problem in September and his calf and Achilles issue from December to April. Yet the 30-year-old returned to score twice and take his tally to a team-high of eight goals.

Allan Saint-Maximin is another of Newcastle’s undroppable players ahead of Howe hosting Cooper’s Nottingham Forest to start the season. The Frenchman is the dynamic threat off the left-flank at St James’ Park, while Howe will still be studying his best right-wing option.

Miguel Almiron has staked his claim to the position during pre-season with a flurry of goals to hit the campaign in top form and with his confidence on the rise. Ryan Fraser could also feel he merits the position, though, having offered Howe a raft of dogged displays, as well.
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