Saturday’s Premier League action caps off with a handsome-looking encounter between Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United at the Amex Stadium.
Roberto De Zerbi’s side have established themselves as the early-season entertainers, but their propensity for scoring and conceding in abundance backfired last weekend.
Despite boasting a mind-blowing 78% ball possession and 26 shots on goal, the Seagulls succumbed to a 3-1 home defeat to West Ham United, relinquishing a 100% two-game record at the start of 2023/24.
West Ham’s rampant showing brought Brighton back down to earth following a brace of thumping 4-1 victories over newcomers Luton Town and perennial strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers.
According to our Brighton 2023/24 season preview, De Zerbi’s side may have to settle for a mid-table battle, but they face a perfect chance to prove last season’s European finish was no fluke.
Newcastle will arrive at the Amex devastated after surrendering a 1-0 lead in a morale-damaging 2-1 home loss to 10-man Liverpool last weekend.
Eddie Howe’s side looked set to post their first Premier League win over the Reds since 2015 before Jurgen Klopp’s second-half substitute Darwin Nunez scored a double to stun St James’ Park into silence.
The Magpies had previously found themselves on the receiving end of a 1-0 scoreline at Manchester City, leaving a 5-1 hammering of Aston Villa on day one as their solitary victory in 2023/24.
Brighton lament an indifferent three-game Premier League form at the Amex (W1, D1, L1), while their last home clean sheet dates back to a 1-0 win over Manchester United in early May.
Form oscillations mean the Seagulls could be staring down the barrel of back-to-back league defeats for the first time since October 2022, but there’s a silver lining.
They have only lost twice in 12 all-time meetings with Newcastle in the Premier League (W4, D6), racking up an impressive eight clean sheets in the process.
However, two of the sides’ last four top-flight showdowns in Sussex have ended goalless, which hints at a potentially low-scoring contest at the Amex for a change.
Nunez’s late heroics at St James’ Park left Newcastle in unfamiliar territory, as they face a grave risk of losing three league matches on the trot for the first time since April 2022.
That makes this daunting venture south even more complicated, throwing the Magpies’ bid to put a stop to an underwhelming three-game winless run on the road into a corridor of doubt (D2, L1).
With their first Champions League group stage appearance in over 20 years awaiting Newcastle after the international break, Howe’s men will be keen to put three points on the board against Brighton.
But considering they have only scored twice on six previous Premier League visits to the Amex, the visitors can be forgiven for taking this trip filled with scepticism.
Julio Enciso and Jakub Moder will not return to the field until after the international break, but the remainder of the Brighton squad is fit for this fixture.
Newcastle will be without Emil Krafth, Javier Manquillo and Joe Willock, who were not part of Howe’s team in the first three rounds due to injuries.
Brighton & Hove Albion potential starting line-up:
(4-2-3-1): Jason Steele; James Milner, Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk, Pervis Estupinan; Pascal Gross, Mahmoud Dahoud; Solly March, Joao Pedro, Kaoru Mitoma; Danny Welbeck.
Newcastle United potential starting line-up:
(4-3-3): Nick Pope; Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, Dan Burn; Sandro Tonali, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton; Miguel Almiron, Alexander Isak, Harvey Barnes.
We Say: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Newcastle United
Brighton’s opening three Premier League games have seen over 2.5 goals and both teams scoring.
Another goal-fest could be in store, especially given Newcastle’s recent defensive mishaps.
Another winless outing would bode well for our Newcastle 2023/24 season predictions, as we doubt their chances of replicating last season’s top-four finish.
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