Nottingham Forest take on Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon and Paul Merson is predicting a 2-0 defeat for Steve Cooper’s men.

It’s been a long old wait but finally, after 23 years outside of the top flight, Forest are finally preparing for a Premier League game again.

Forest won promotion with a play-off final win over Huddersfield Town and basically have a whole new squad to pick from.

Cooper has been backed with 11 major signings this summer and many of them will feature as Forest play their first game of the new season on Saturday afternoon.

Nottingham Forest take on Newcastle United

It’s a trip to St James’ Park for Forest with Newcastle United awaiting.

Eddie Howe’s men have added Nick Pope and Sven Botman this summer as well as signing loanee Matt Targett permanently.

Many expected more spending from Newcastle but that hasn’t been the case, meaning Forest may hope to spring a real shock on the Magpies this weekend.

It’s still a big ask for Forest but the summer influx will give Cooper a chance of a win over Howe.

Pundits are having their say on Forest’s chances, both for this game and for the season ahead.

Paul Merson has followed suit, telling Sportskeeda that he thinks Forest will lose 2-0 at Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.

Nottingham Forest v Valencia CF - Pre-season Friendly
(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Merson spoke at length about the arrival of Jesse Lingard, believing that he can provide a real ‘X-factor’ for Forest this season.

Merson completely understands why Forest have given Lingard a big contract, believing that he can bring something different to Cooper’s side.

The former Arsenal man did though add that Lingard will be ‘working on scraps’ at Forest and can’t expect his team to dominate possession, meaning he will have to ‘stay patient’ for goalscoring chances.

“Nottingham Forest needed an X-factor after they got promoted, and I think Jesse Lingard fits the bill. I can see why they’ve given him the money – they need something different,” said Merson. “When you’re a Championship team coming up to the Premier League, you need to sign a player like this and hope he meets expectations.”

“Lingard has spent his entire career playing for big clubs that dominate football matches. Now, he’ll be working on scraps – he hasn’t experienced anything like this in his career. He has to stay patient and wait for his chances,” he added.

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