Brighton vs Newcastle predictions: Seagulls can fly high once again
After an opening weekend in which both Brighton and Newcastle looked magnificent, Saturday’s meeting between the pair will be a fascinating test for two clubs with strong claims to be crowned ‘best of the rest’ in the Premier League.
Newcastle did enjoy n easier test on Matchday one, with a newly-promoted and newly-assembled Nottingham Forest side looking every part a team that needs time to bed in.
But Eddie Howe’s Magpies still impressed in the manner in which they took full advantage, dominating from the off and deserving to win by more than the eventual 2-0 scoreline.
However, it was Brighton who delivered the performance of the weekend, producing an exceptional display to beat Manchester United in the club’s first ever Old Trafford victory.
Graham Potter’s men were thoroughly deserving of their 2-1 success, producing a tactical and technical masterpiece that hints at Brighton being the real deal.
Potter has the luxury of a settled and near full-strength squad to choose from, with long-term absentee Jakub Moder the only Brighton player unavailable.
Levi Colwill, on loan from Chelsea, and Deniz Undaz made their debuts from the bench last weekend, with both coming on in stoppage time at Old Trafford.
Brighton’s starting XI against Manchester United saw only two changes from the line-up for their final match of 2021-22, with experienced pair Adam Lallana and Leandro Trossard replacing departed duo Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella.
Newcastle set up in Howe’s preferred 4-3-3 against Forest, with Nick Pope the only player to make his full debut as he replaced Martin Dubravka in goal.
Sven Botman, a £35million statement signing from Lille, came off the bench at St James’ Park, but Howe might prefer to not disrupt a centre-back pairing who kept a clean sheet last time out.
Magpies midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been ruled out for 12 weeks with a thigh injury but Howe expects Jamaal Lascelles to be back in contention against Brighton.
Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lewis, and Emil Krafth have all returned to training but this weekend’s match may come a little too soon for them.
Javier Manquillo will take a late fitness test.
While Newcastle’s home form has been excellent under Howe they remain patchy on the road.
They have lost four of their last six competitive away games and while three of those losses came against teams finishing in the top four, one came against a struggling Everton side.
The two victories in that run were over relegated duo Norwich and Burnley.
The Magpies have also never won a Premier League game away at Brighton, losing twice and drawing three of their five trips to the South coast.
Brighton’s only loss in 10 league matches came away at champions Manchester City and they recorded six victories in that run.
All six wins came against top-half opposition; Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United – twice – West Ham and Wolves.
Newcastle drew 1-1 at the Amex Stadium last season but the point was claimed against the run of play — the Seagulls dominated 65% possession, took double the number of shots as their visitors and registered 1.6 expected goals to Newcastle’s 0.2.
Newcastle were in total control during last weekend’s 2-0 dissection of Forest, with Joelinton dominant in midfield and the classy Bruno Guimaraes pulling the strings, albeit against obliging opponents.
It will be an interesting test for both teams to see how the Brazilian midfield pair fare at the Amex as Brighton are masters at stifling quality opposition.
Potter’s expertly-drilled side have outclassed some very good teams in recent outings and if Guimaraes and co can dominate again this weekend then Newcastle supporters can start to get very excited.
However, the poise and intelligence that Brighton displayed at the end of last season and carried over into their trip to Old Trafford should have their opponents sitting up to take notice.
If the Seagulls can maintain that level of play they could prove serious contenders for a European place.
It should be a fascinating clash between two emerging forces but the hosts should just about nick the three points.