Ayoze Perez one of THREE changes to Newcastle's starting XI
A win at St James's Park would take the club back to the top of the Championship after Brighton and Hove Albion's game against Cardiff City at the Amex Stadium was postponed due to fog at the Amex Stadium.
Benitez has recalled Ayoze Perez, Christian Atsu and DeAndre Yedlin to his starting XI.
United manager Benitez will again be without the suspended Jonjo Shelvey, who will serve the second game of a five-match ban.
Brighton are two points ahead of Newcastle, beaten at home by Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Hayden, Colback; Ritchie, Perez, Atsu; Gayle. Subs: Sels, Anita, Lazaar, Mbemba, Gouffran, Diame, Mitrovic.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST: Stojkovic, Cash, Mills, Hobbs, Lam, Lichaj, Kasami, Osborn, Pereira, Dumitru, Bendtner. Subs: Henderson, Assombalonga, Carayol, Vaughan, Grant, Vellios, Ahmedhodzic.
For news and updates from St James's Park, follow NUFC writer Miles Starforth on Twitter here