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Previewing the Unpreviewable: Newcastle vs. Brighton

Can Newcastle make a little history and win their first two opening Premier League matches?

Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United - Premier League
the summer snoozefest makes its triumphant return
Photo by Newcastle United/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Week 2 of the Premier League season and Newcastle are somehow in the top 10 (for now). The lads take on Brighton this week in the hopes that last week’s win over West Ham was not a fluke. If Newcastle can come away with a win here, they’ll jump from 6th to likely 3rd or 4th. A loss would leave them in the top 10.

Newcastle are coming into this one after an impressive win over West Ham, and a not so impressive win over Blackburn. Meanwhile, Brighton lost their opening match to Chelsea 3-1, and did not look as bad as the score line suggests. They followed this up with an impressive win over Portsmouth in the EFL Cup.

What do Newcastle have to do to win?

Employ the press.

It’s pretty simple logic. Brighton are a team that play a possession based style of football, and it is something that Chelsea took advantage of last week. Brighton were able to control the ball a fair bit and create quality chances against a team that is on paper better than Newcastle.

Chelsea when they employed the press forced a few turnovers and left the Brighton defense in uncomfortable situations, one of which eventually led to the penalty that opened up the scoring for Chelsea. Brighton’s willingness to build out of the back could be their own demise as they don’t have world class ball playing center-backs.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League
Brighton were able to easily deal with Chelsea’s long ball tacti, but did struggle against the press

The big worry for Newcastle is whether they will actually apply the press. Steve Bruce typically has been hesitant to employ the press in his tenure at Newcastle However, Newcastle pressed a little during the restart, and I mean a little. There were spurts where we saw the press being used and it was effective. I mean Newcastle have the speed to press effectively and now there is a striker capable of finishing easy chances that come from winning the ball in the final 3rd.

The Only Player to Worry About

I think the easy player to say here is Tariq Lamptey. The right wing-back impressed against Chelsea, and has been a consistently dangerous player for Brighton since he joined in January. He is definitely going to give Newcastle some trouble this week.

However, I think Newcastle should be a bit worried about Brighton’s engine Yves Bissouma. Bissouma was an anchor in the midfield leading the team in tackles last week, and against Newcastle will likely be the last line of defense before Brighton’s 3 center backs have to deal with the pace of Almirón, Saint-Maximin and Wilson.

Exploiting his mistakes in positioning during this match could be the difference between a goal and a counter attack getting broken up. It will be imperative for Newcastle to remove him as a actor in this match much like they did against West Ham with Declan Rice.

One Bold Predicition

Miguel Almirón scores.

I think this match Miggy gets the nod ahead of Andy Carrol, because pinging long balls up to Andy Carroll is not a strategy that will bode well against Brighton who were able to deal with Chelsea’s long ball strategy with ease. Miggy’s pace combined with Wilson’s movement as a forward could give Miggy a fair few opportunities to score.

The Elijah Newsome Clout Rating

Oh my gosh Brighton are such a meh team. The only positive about Brighton is that Aaron Mooy is no longer there. Other than that they have a terrible mascot, are a lock for a midtable finish, and don’t even start my favorite German in the Premier League any more! The big thing of note here is that Tariq Lamptey is really fun to watch sand it is unfair how cheap they got him

Clout Rating: Aaron Mooy’s hairline

Injuries/Projected Lineups

The injury list for Newcastle is still quite long with players like Dubravka, Gayle and Schär all nursing long term injuries. Meanwhile on the Brighton side, the status of Adam Lallana is unknown after he limped off against Portsmouth this past week. Additionally for Brighton, Florin Andone and Jose Izquierdo are nursing long term injuries still. They also have to deal with promising youngster Ben White likely missing the match as well’

For Newcastle I think the best move is to go with a similar lineup as last week, subbing in Miguel Almirón for Andy Carroll and shifting to a 4-4-1-1 where Miggy plays as a secondary striker just behind Wilson. Steve Bruce eluded to this being a potential spot for Almirón to find consistent playing time in the first team. It is not his traditional number 10 role, but it is essentially the next best thing as it still allows him to have a bit of freedom in the final third.

Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers - Carabao Cup - Second Round - St James’ Park
The Paraguayan has been unreal for Newcastle this season, picking up 2 assists in 2 matches. He has to be a part of the team this week
Photo by Paul Ellis/PA Images via Getty Images

With Brighton it is always hard to tell what formation they will roll out with because Graham Potter loves to throw out different looks. The 3 in the back formation worked well for them last week and resulted in a fir bit of chances created. I could see Potter sticking with it, even thought Newcastle are far less of an attacking threat on paper than Chelsea.

Newcastle Injuries: Fabian Schär (Shoulder), Dwight Gayle (MCL),Martin Dubravka (Ankle), Paul Dummett (Hamstring), Matty Longstaff (Thigh)

Brighton Injuries: Adam Lallana (Calf), Ben White (Knee), Christian Walton (Ankle), Dale Stephens (Muscle Tightness), Florin Andone (Knee), Jose Izquierdo (Knee)

Projected Newcastle Lineup (4-4-1-1): Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Shelvey, Hayden, Hendrick, Saint-Maximin, Almirón, Wilson

Projected Brighton Lineup (3-5-2): Ryan, Webster, Dunk, Veltman, March, Bissouma, Alzate, Gross, Lamptey, Maupay, Trossard

One Fun Fact to Say at the Bar

Following their 2-0 win at West Ham on the opening day, Newcastle are looking to start a league season with consecutive victories for the first time since 1997-98.

Elijah’s Never Wrong Position

Newcastle and Brighton matches are not typically exciting. Neither team has scored more than a goal in any of the last 4 matches, and I would imagine that trend continues. Newcastle typically struggle against Brighton, and have not scored in 5 of the previous 6 Premier League matches against the Seagulls.

Brighton are equally as poor against Newcastle having only beat Newcastle twice in those 6 Premier League matches despite Newcastle failing to score in 5 of those matches.

More of the same here I would imagine, and this will be one boring match resulting in yet another draw.

Newcastle 1-1 Brighton