Preview: Newcastle United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - Prediction


A long and arduous journey to Tyneside awaits European-chasing Brighton & Hove Albion, who prepare to tackle third-placed Newcastle United in Thursday's Premier League offering.

Eddie Howe's side were held to a 2-2 draw by Leeds United at the weekend, one day before the Seagulls effectively ended Arsenal's title chances in a 3-0 Emirates romping.

Match preview

A penny for Patrick Bamford's thoughts as Callum Wilson stepped up to the spot and offered his compatriot some pointers on Saturday lunchtime, having witnessed the Leeds man sent a tame spot kick into the palms of Nick Pope after a quickfire Luke Ayling opener at Elland Road.

A pair of confident penalties from Wilson turned the game on its head, but Rasmus Kristensen's deflected effort 11 minutes from time ensured a point for Sam Allardyce's men in a contest that was marred by a fan making his way to the Newcastle dugout to confront Eddie Howe, who was left shaken but thankfully unharmed by the disgraceful incident.

With only one point under their belt from the last six on offer in the top flight, Newcastle's third-placed standing in the Premier League table is not unassailable for Manchester United - who are only behind on goal difference - or Liverpool, who sit one point worse off having played a game more.

Even challenging for Champions League football so soon after their sometimes scorned takeover represents a period of overachievement for Howe's troops, but a waning defence is doing the Magpies no favours; the league's joint-best rearguard have now failed to keep a clean sheet in eight successive fixtures and have only shut out Manchester United in their last 17.

A 2-0 loss to Arsenal a couple of weekends ago marked just their second home Premier League defeat of the season, though, but unlike Newcastle, Brighton are well-versed when it comes to out-gunning the Gunners.

In a result celebrated by fans in two different shades of blue, Brighton all but guaranteed a second-placed finish for an abating Arsenal side in a phenomenal display of tactical excellence at the Emirates, putting three past Mikel Arteta's men without reply in the second half.

Following a combative and ultimately scoreless opening 45 minutes, Julio Enciso's controversial opener - where Jakub Kiwior appeared to take a stamp to the ankle - preceded a Deniz Undav lob and a Pervis Estupinan rebound, as Roberto De Zerbi's team consigned their freak 5-1 mauling at the hands of Everton to history.

De Zerbi brought the mood down slightly at the full-time whistle, claiming that Brighton may find it difficult to hang onto their sought-after stars, but not until their quest for European football is complete; the Seagulls remain sixth in the standings and have a one-point advantage over Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, both of whom have played two games more.

Extending their Premier League scoring streak to 12 games at the Emirates, Brighton also venture to St James' Park as the league's second most prolific team on the road - a total of 33 strikes is second only to Arsenal's 35 - but on the other hand, De Zerbi's side have only kept three clean sheets on rival territory all season long.

The Magpies held Brighton to a goalless draw at the Amex back in August, five months on from Newcastle's 2-1 win at St James' Park in March 2022, but the Seagulls have remarkably kept eight clean sheets from their 11 Premier League fixtures with the hosts - against no other top-flight side do they boast such a tremendous defensive record.

Team News

With no fresh injury concerns to report from the four-goal draw in Yorkshire, Newcastle should only remain without their four known injury absentees, as well as the ostracised Ryan Fraser.

Sean Longstaff (ankle), Emil Krafth (ACL), Jamaal Lascelles (calf), Matt Ritchie (knee) are all confined to the infirmary, and only the former may have a chance of returning to action before the campaign concludes, and Howe's sole selection dilemma once again comes in the final third.

The Magpies boss answered the age-old question of Wilson or Alexander Isak by starting both at Elland Road, as well as Miguel Almiron, but Jacob Murphy, Anthony Gordon and Allan Saint-Maximin will all put their names in the hat for first-whistle inclusion.

Meanwhile, Brigton attacker Enciso made himself public enemy number one at the Emirates as he slowly trudged off the field late on, but the Paraguayan's problem is not a serious one, and De Zerbi is confident that he will be passed fit for Thursday.

Brighton will take any fitness-related silver lining on offer right now, as De Zerbi is still without all of Jakub Moder (knee), Tariq Lamptey (knee), Jeremy Sarmiento (ankle), Adam Webster (muscle), Solly March (thigh), Joel Veltman (thigh) and Adam Lallana (thigh), while Robert Sanchez will be left out as per "an agreement" with De Zerbi again.

Should Veltman not be given the green light to feature, either Moises Caicedo or Pascal Gross should line up as an emergency right-back once more, while Undav's bright North London cameo could give De Zerbi food for thought in the final third.

1 comment : Preview: Newcastle United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - Prediction

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