Newcastle and Brighton set for gripping showdown at St. James’ Park.
The Magpies’ recent form has seen a blend of triumph and turbulence. Their campaign witnessed an inspiring victory over Southampton, a humbling defeat at the hands of Arsenal, and shared spoils with Leeds United.
Meanwhile, the Seagulls, soaring on a tidal wave of confidence, recently plucked Arsenal clean in a thrilling 3-0 victory. Considering Brighton’s rampant goal scoring exploits of late, it may indeed be shrewd to stake a claim that both teams will find the back of the net. It’s worth remembering that in their last encounter at St. James’, Newcastle bested Brighton 2-1, adding more weight to the argument.
Newcastle’s Recent Form
The Magpies’ inaugural season, under the wings of an ambitious project, has reaped dividends. They are currently perched third in the Premier League, with a reassuring four-point cushion over fifth place. With three match-days left, they’re within touching distance of qualifying for the Champions League.
However, following a hat-trick of victories against Tottenham, Everton, and Southampton, the Magpies’ form has somewhat lost its lustre. Despite the fervent backing of their loyal supporters, Newcastle fell to Arsenal 0-2, and they dropped precious points to a Leeds side fighting relegation last weekend, in a 2-2 stalemate.
Team News and Injuries: Newcastle
The Magpies enter this encounter with their ranks depleted. The likes of Sean Longstaff, a potential starter, reserves Lascelles and Ritchie, and long-term injury absentees Krafth and Fraser, all remain sidelined.
Following a period of professional purgatory of starting on the bench, Callum Wilson, with 17 goals and 4 assists in the Premier League, has found himself thrust back into the spotlight. A brace last weekend should propel him back to spearhead Newcastle’s attack, likely nudging Swedish international Isak, with his 10 Premier League goals, back to the left flank.
Brighton’s Current Form
Brighton has emerged as a surprise package this season. Currently in sixth place in the Premier League, the Seagulls are locked in a struggle for a European spot.
They recently suffered a shock defeat at home to an unassuming Everton side, losing 1-5. But they quickly rediscovered their winning ways last weekend, as Brighton took the game to Arsenal and left with an emphatic 0-3 victory in their wake.
Team News and Injuries: Brighton
Brighton also face a shortfall in their ranks this week. Potential starters Veltman, Webster, Lallana and Lamptey, along with reserve midfielder Sarmiento, are all missing. They have been joined in the infirmary by key winger March, boasting 7 goals and 7 assists in the Premier League, while long-term absentees Mwepu and Moder remain unavailable. Key players Mac Allister (10 Premier League goals) and Mitoma (7 goals and 4 assists in the Premier League) continue to represent a potent threat. In the last match-day, 19-year-old Paraguayan, Enciso, and German forward Undav were on target.
Historical Showdowns: Newcastle vs Brighton
Brighton carry a positive record in their direct encounters, with 6 victories, 6 draws, and a paltry 3 losses from their 15 tussles with Newcastle.
Last August, in the reverse fixture at the Amex, the net remained undisturbed as both teams played out a goalless draw.
However, the history books show a balance of power in their six previous direct confrontations at St. James’ Park. Both the Magpies and the Seagulls have two victories apiece under their belts. As always in this unpredictable game of football, previous form is simply an indication, not a guarantee. One thing is certain – come match day, both sides will be equally keen to tip the balance in their favour.