Newcastle United are mathematically safe and can look forward to another season in the Premier League. Brighton, however, have a lot of work to do.
With safety assured, Newcastle can now play with freedom and no pressure on their shoulders. The same cannot be said for Brighton and ex Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton. The Seagulls are struggling for form and goals, in fact Brighton have not registered a goal since beating Milwall in the FA Cup on March 17th.
Brighton’s last win in the Premier League was a 1-2 victory away at Crystal Palace on March 9th. The poor run of form has seen the seagulls nosedive towards the bottom three. By the time Brighton take on Newcastle in Saturday’s late kick off, there could be just goal difference separating themselves and Cardiff. A victory for Cardiff at Craven Cottage against Fulham would certainly heap even more pressure on Brighton heading into the clash with Newcastle.
Brighton face a daunting finish to the season, with a trip to the Emirates against Arsenal ahead following Manchester City at home. Brighton will look at Saturday’s game as a chance to pick up a much needed win.
Anthony Knockaert will return from suspension for the home side. While Glenn Murray and Solly March are pushing for recalls, having started from the bench against Tottenham last time out. The only injury concern for Brighton is Davy Propper, who has a problem with his hamstring.
Newcastle will be without record signing Miguel Almiron for the rest of the season, while Sean Longstaff and Florian Lejuene remain sidelined but both are expected to be fit for pre-season.
Brighton - Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Stephens, Bissouma, Gross; March, Murray, Knockaert.
Newcastle - Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie; Perez, Ki, Hayden, Atsu; Rondon.
Brighton have to come out and attack, they cannot just sit back and defend for 90 minutes as they did against Tottenham. The Seagulls are desperate for goals, however, they have not shown much of an attacking threat lately which can only dent their confidence. With Brighton having to attack, it could well suit Newcastle as Benitez likes to play on the counter, especially away from home.
After Brighton’s recent form and Newcastle being able to play with freedom, I can see Newcastle piling more pressure on Chris Hughton’s side.
Brighton 0 Newcastle 2