Newcastle vs Brighton Prediction, Preview, Lineups and Betting Tips
Newcastle takes on Brighton for their last fixture in 2017 in what should be one of these six-point encounters between deeply involved relegation pretenders. Neither one of them is willing to go back in the Championship from the next year and both managers will field their optimal squads, although they have other important matches upcoming only 48 hours after this one. Newcastle will travel to Stoke-on-Trent while Brighton will host to AFC Bournemouth in first day of 2018.
Earlier this season, 24 September 2017, Brighton won at home with an only goal scored by the Israeli striker Tomer Hemed in the 51st minute.
This is only the second top-flight league encounter between these clubs and the first to be played at “St James’ Park”. The Magpies won both Championship meetings with Brighton last campaign, including a 2-0 win in Newcastle with goals from Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey.
English Premier League: Newcastle vs Brighton 30.12.2017
Newcastle lost 0-1 to a flawless Manchester City on Wednesday night which was an acceptable result, especially if we consider the absolute superiority of “City” and the two shots on the post of Sergio Agüero. This was the fifth defeat of Newcastle in the last six games and also ninth for 11 Premier League rounds. Nevertheless, Rafa Benitez’s men are still beyond the relegation zone thanks to a 3-2 victory over West Ham in London last weekend, but another poor result can move them even closer to it or even in, under certain circumstances. This will require some outstanding results by Newcastle’s opponents and one of them, Crystal Palace, must earn point/s against Arsenal and Manchester City, respectively, AFC Bournemouth must beat Everton, whilst WBA must win vs Arsenal as well. So basically “The Magpies” have a great chance to increase their lead over the other contenders with a victory against Brighton here.
The aforementioned three points won in previous match with Newcastle were marking Brighton’s latest home win until a narrow success over Watford last Saturday. It is the only victory for “The Seagulls” in the last 9 Premier League games, in which Chris Hughton’s men have failed to score in six occasions. Thus Brighton stands on three points above Newcastle, having 21 points won out of 20 games and for now they won’t find themselves in the relegation zone, but there is a serious risk about it, if they don’t achieve better results in the upcoming weeks.
Team News and Missing Players
Rafa Benitez will field a completely different lineup compared with Wednesday’s match, where he used a 5-4-1 formation. This time the Spaniard should be more offensive-minded and he will most likely refresh the midfield, as well as the attack. Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu should start on both wings, while Dwight Gayle can lead the line, being supported by Ayoze Perez from second position. Another potential opportunity is a central forward duo between Gayle and Joselu, in case that Benitez decides to start a 4-4-2 formation and be more insistent for the three points. Mikel Merino and Henri Saivet are expected to form central midfield duo here, while Mohamed Diame and Jonjo Shelvey should be dropped to the bench.
Serbian forward Aleksandar Mitrovic remain injured with a back problem and will surely miss out here. Central defender Florian Lejeune and midfielder Isaac Hayden are two others who can miss another round as they are both doubtful.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Chris Hughton also plans some rotations within his team and veteran Bruno, as well as Gaëtan Bong, Pascal Groß, Anthony Knockaert, and Glenn Murray could all come into the starting XI. They should replace players who were starters in the 0-2 defeat to Chelsea at the “Stamford Bridge” in capital London on Boxing Day.
Brighton have Izzy Brown available again after being ineligible to face parent club Chelsea.
Brighton’s boss yet can’t rely on the long-term absentee Steve Sidwell.
Newcastle vs Brighton Prediction and Betting Tips
Brighton had one day extra recovery but “The Seagulls” are travelling to North East England after four consecutive away defeats, without scoring in any of them. Anyway, three of them were against leading sides like Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea, but the fourth one was against another newly promoted club – 0:2 to Huddersfield Town on 9 December.
Mentioning 9th of December, that’s a special date for the Toon side who have been founded on this day, 125 years ago. Well, their 125th anniversary was a disaster since Newcastle lost 2-3 to Leicester City at home, at the same day, but the recent victory against West Ham boosted Geordies’ morale and they hope to put an end of their losing streak at the “St. James’ Park” – five defeats in a row.
Before these five defeats, Newcastle were with three wins and one draw in four games at home turf. All victories came against other teams from second half of the English Premier League standings – West Ham United, Stoke City and Crystal Palace (which is their last home win), whilst the draw was against Rafa Benitez’s former club – Liverpool.
We believe that Newcastle may edge this one and Rafa Benitez is an experienced manager who can respond in a proper manner to the defeat from Chris Hughton earlier in the season.
Possible Lineups of Newcastle and Brighton
Venue: “St. James’ Park”, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
Newcastle United: Rob Elliot – Javier Manquillo, Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles, DeAndre Yedlin – Christian Atsu, Henri Saivet, Mikel Merino, Matt Ritchie – Ayoze Perez – Dwight Gayle. (4-4-1-1)
Brighton & Hove Albion: Mathew Ryan – Gaëtan Bong, Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy, Bruno – Jose Izquierdo, Davy Pröpper, Dale Stephens, Anthony Knockaert – Pascal Groß – Glenn Murray. (4-4-1-1)