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Nic Ladds 28th Mar 2010 - 16:11

Top flight return for the Magpies

If Newcastle can continue their outstanding home form then they will all but confirm their immediate return to the top flight.

Standing in their way is Nottm Forest and although they have had an impressive season, their away form is awful of late and this should be an easy victory for the Geordies.

Not many clubs adjust to life in England's second tier as well as Newcastle have, they are the only club in the whole of English league football to still remain unbeaten at home.

Should Newcastle win they would be 13 points clear in an automatic promotion spot with a game in hand over second placed West Brom so with just six or seven games left, it would take a small miracle for them not to be promoted.

Forest are performing above all expectations this season and if they hadn't lost their last six away games they would still be right in the mix for an automatic spot. As it stands though they are nine points behind second place and a loss here would almost certainly condemn them to the lottery that is the play-offs.

Newcastle (8/11) have won 15 and drawn four of their home matches this season and have conceded a league-low of just nine goals at St James' Park. When you combine that with the fact they have scored the most goals at home, it is hard to see Forest getting anything out of this match.

Nottm Forest (4/1) have lost six away matches on the bounce, before that they were unbeaten on their travels which is surely frustrating for Billy Davies after such a good start. Forest are one of just four teams to beat Newcastle in the league this season though, they managed a 1-0 on home turf in October.

Newcastle have score on average 2.4 goals per every home match this season ,and considering Forest have no problems scoring I envisage a high scoring game. Over three match goals is 11/4 or if you are not as confident, 21/20 can be found on over two goals. Considering Newcastle are getting more than that on their own at home, I think it's a cracking bet.

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton could welcome back a few key players from injury for this important clash. Jose Enrique, Peter Lovenkrands and Alan Smith could all be back in contention for selection.

Billy Davis will hope James Perch can return from his ankle injury and Joel Lynch can recover from his thigh injury in time for the game.  Lower-league specialist Robbie Earnshaw is their top-scorer with 13 in the league so far and is 7/1 to score first here.

Newcastle's top scorer is controversial striker Andy Carroll who makes the headlines for all the wrong reasons off the pitch but has 14 league goals this season and is 4/1 to score first.

I think Newcastle are unstoppable in their pursuit for top-flight football and as Forest's away record will let them down come the end of the season. I think Newcastle will win at a canter, if you want a bet on them try the 2/1 on Newcastle -1 and as a punt for the correct score I will say 3-0 to the home side at 11/1.



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