Monday, January 20, 2020

Prediction: Brighton vs Newcastle

Verdict: Newcastle win

Best Odds: 13/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Desperate to extend their buffer over the drop zone, Brighton will host a resurgent Newcastle side on Saturday evening.

Brighton

Starting with the hosts, suffering some late heartbreak on Tuesday night, Brighton’s 1-0 loss away at Tottenham now sees Chris Hughton’s side firmly at the heart of a relegation scrap. Holding just a three-point buffer over Cardiff in the race for survival, the Seagulls have drastically started to stall at the end of the season. Now enduring a seven-match winless run across all competitions and losing six of those contests, it will be their form in the final third most concerning Hughton. Brighton have failed to score a single goal in any of their previous seven appearances and have now not found the net in almost 650 minutes of action. Along with struggling in the final third, fans around the Amex will also be growing more concerned by their form on the South Coast. Suffering a 2-0 loss to Cardiff in their last matchup on home soil, the Seagulls have lost their last three consecutive matches at home, a run that also saw them ship five against Bournemouth earlier in the month.

Team News

Winger Anthony Knockaert is available for Brighton after completing a three-match suspension.

Davy Propper is again ruled out with a hamstring problem.

Newcastle

As for the visitors, while Brighton might be enduring a horror run at the end of the season, the same cannot be said for a resurgent Newcastle side. Coming off the back of another impressive display in their 3-1 win over Southampton last weekend, Rafa Benitez’s side have won their last two matches on the bounce. Also picking up a 1-0 win away at the King Power a fortnight ago, the Magpies have confirmed another season of Premier League football and will be looking to mount a late charge up the table. Arguably saving their best performances for the end of the campaign, one man to watch for Saturday’s visitors will be the in-form Ayoze Perez. Picking up a hat-trick against the Saints last time out, the 25-year-old has now bagged four top-flight goals in his last two appearances. Even more impressive, Benitez’s leading man has scored seven goals in his last 10 matches altogether. With the mood in their camp only on the rise, a third consecutive victory for Newcastle on Saturday could see them climb as high as 11th, their highest position in 2019.

Team News

Newcastle playmaker Miguel Almiron will miss the remainder of the season because of a hamstring injury sustained during the win over Southampton.

Fabian Schar and Isaac Hayden were substituted with minor injuries in that game, although both have returned to training and could be involved.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Brighton are on a seven-match winless run in all competitions, losing six of those games and failing to score in any of them.
  • It is the first time in the club’s history that Brighton have gone seven matches without a goal.
  • Ayoze Perez has scored six goals in six Premier League games, as many as he had in his previous 30 appearances in the division.
  • Newcastle are vying for consecutive Premier League away victories for the first time since January last year.
  • Only the top five clubs and Wolves have conceded fewer goals this season than Newcastle’s 44.

Conclusion

With Newcastle finding their confidence at arguably a season-high, Rafa Benitez’s side should see Saturday as the perfect opportunity to extend on their recent winning run. As Brighton have now lost their last three matches on home, including that 5-0 hammering at home to Bournemouth earlier in the month, we’re backing a resurgent Newcastle side to come away with the three points this weekend.

Verdict: Newcastle win

Best Odds: 13/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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