Brighton (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

Without doubt or most important game of the season to date.

Eight games in and we find ourselves second bottom and winless after suffering four straight defeats at St James’ Park. Our early season run has been tough – with us facing five of the top 6 so far – however this is a game where there can be no excuses.

Brighton have not won away from home since November last year. They’re no mugs and they won’t make it easy, but I think we all know what a big chance this is to kick start our season ahead of a generous run of fixtures between now and Christmas.

I’ve seen a few pundits call this a ‘must win’ game for us. I don’t agree personally, as a draw here and a win at Southampton would probably be seen as a very good return by most fans, however there can be no denying that his is a massive game.

Win and I’m confident we’ll kick on and get that much needed confidence boost we’ve been longing for, draw and things will remain flat, but lose and real alarm bells will be ringing.



Preferred XI

Here’s the team I’d like to see, followed by the side I expect Rafa to go with:

It doesn’t happen often, but the team I’d like to see Rafa go with is the team I’m expecting him to go with.

It may have ended badly, however there were plenty positives to take out of the defeat at Man Utd, with the likes of Muto, Kenedy and Shelvey all showing real signs of life.

I’d have been tempted to put Rondon up top with Muto if he was fit, but Benitez confirmed that this one will come too soon for the Baggies loanee.

Joselu’s scored 2 of our 3 goals at St James’ so far this season, but Muto looks far more of a threat – with his pace and energy also far more likely to trouble two 6ft 4′ centre-backs in Dunk and Duffy.

Kenedy put in his best performance of the season at Man Utd – scoring and putting in a much improved all round display. He’s fit, so I’m certain he’ll be start and I’m really hoping he’ll now kick on. He’s one of few flair players so we need him at it.

Dummett is back and Lascelles and Fernandez are now very much establishing themselves as Rafa’s first-choice centre-back pairing, so I’m hoping we can shutout a Brighton side that don’t tend to score many on the road.

Scoring at the other end could be the issue, but we’ll have every chance of that if Muto, Kenedy, Perez and Shelvey can all pick up from where they left off at Old Trafford – with us also needing to see a bit more from Ritchie.

(4-4-1-1) – Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett – Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy – Perez, Muto. 

The Opposition

Here’s a few ‘ones to watch’ in the Brighton side:

Pascal Gross (No.10): There’s a chance he could return for this one, but I’m sincerely hoping he doesn’t. He’s their creative force in the number 10 role, their main getter of goals/assists and a hard worker too.

Matt Ryan (GK): He isn’t the biggest, but he seems to me like one of their most consistent performers. I’m hoping not, but it may take a few decent efforts to get past him. He’s a very good shot stopper and reminds me a little of Shay Given.

Glen Murray (ST): An intelligent player who has a knack of getting himself in the right place at the right time. The fact he doesn’t have any great pace or strength yet has a goals to game record only bettered by Aguero, Kane and Hazard this season says a lot.

Anthony Knockaert (RW):  Paul Dummett’s tended to keep him very quiet during our last few meetings, however the Frenchman has looked back to his best at times this season. That could be an interesting battle.

Predicted Brighton XI – (4-4-1-1) Ryan – Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong – Knockaert, Stephens, Kayal, March – Gross – Murray.

Team news

Rafa Benitez has confirmed that both Salomon Rondon and Ciaran Clark will miss out, however Paul Dummett ‘should be OK’ to play after missing our last two.

For Brighton, first-team midfielder Davey Propper has been ruled out, with Hughton saying he’ll make a ‘late decision’ on Pascal Gross, Dale Stephens and Gaetan Bong.

 

Match Prediction

I think we may know what Newcastle side we’re going to see in the first 10 minutes of the game. We’ll either be edgy and let the pressure get to us, or we’ll build on some of the positives picked up two weeks ago.

I fancy Muto to cause problems, but only if we get enough support to him.

A part of me worries they’ll sit in, frustrate us and come away with an ugly draw, but I’m backing us to bounce back here and get an all important three points – providing we can show more of the same enthusiasm in attack.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-0 Brighton

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

38 thoughts on “Brighton (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. That predicted line us is certainly capable of getting a result today – but it depends on how we approach it. It we go out to win and play like we did in the first half against Man Utd and get the crowd going – it could be a good day in the sun.
    But if we go defensive for the first hour, then I think Brighton will come after us.
    I don’t see it as a 6 pointer game, but a win and good performance could kick start our season.

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  2. Bloody Phil Neville commentating on Man U / Chelsea. Who makes these decisions? First of all he is [email protected], but even worse he is biased. He has an underlying bias towards MUFC but then sometimes tries too hard to go the other way. And he always seems out of breath.

    He seems to ride his brother’s coattails in everything he does. My brother is a bricklayer but I’M not going to build you a house.

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  3. I am guessing that the idea is that a commentator might have some insight into their former team but I would rather have a neutral. But, with all of the ex- Liverpool and Man U polluting the pundit class it is hard to find one when those teams play. Even Robbie Savage is ex-Man U although I don’t think he played a 1st team game.

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  4. Mark Douglas‏Verified account @MsiDouglas

    Follow Follow @MsiDouglas

     More

    Brighton players furiously signalling for medics here after Glen Murray went down. Stretcher coming on now. Looks bad.

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  5. Murray’s injury has affected our players more than his own team !!!
    Won’t win this, we are not clinical enough .

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  6. Gotta feel for Shelvey man, he is trying his hardest to get us back into this game but we just waste chance after chance here.

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  7. we are ****ed and defo down this season. So many chances to get a goal today but nowhere near clinical enough.

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  8. Newkie:
    Look at that miss from Bissouma..and that is the **** we are losing to? At home? Hilarious.

    Penny for fat mikes thoughts right now .

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  9. What does Ashley see when he looks at this? Is it not pretty obvious this whole squad isn’t good enough for the PL? Yet what does he do? He refuses to allow Rafa any funds in January. He deserves everything he has coming.

    Personally I don’t care what division we’re in under him.

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  10. Time for Rafa to pick players on merit not on their language. Saw the bench before the game and shuddered. If you have cards that keep losing throw them in and draw some fresh ones.

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  11. Kim – he’ll be thinking “Shite, should have sold these clowns when I could have made a pretty penny, they’ll be worth F/A when Kinnear is back at the helm and we’re struggling to stay out of League one next season…”

    I may as well switch to Cardiff at this rate 😆

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  12. I get why people dig out the likes of Atsu and Murphy as not being good enough, but in there defence they are used inconsistently. Perez gets regular game time as is p1ss poor – it’s way passed time he was dropped imo.

    Is the fact I was wishing Gayle was playing a sign we have gone backwards 🤔🤦🏼‍♂️

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  13. Newkie:
    Kim – he’ll be thinking “Shite, should have sold these clowns when I could have made a pretty penny, they’ll be worth F/A when Kinnear is back at the helm and we’re struggling to stay out of League one next season…”

    I may as well switch to Cardiff at this rate

    😆

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  14. Sharpy – Perez was ****e, though I do think he often gets scapegoated. He wasn’t as ****e as Kenedy today I thought, he was a total waste of space. Dubravka is about the only player I’d give a mark over 3/10 for in that match, maybe Sissoko, and he had f all to do really.

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  15. Didn’t see the game and it sounds like I was lucky.

    With 5 home losses in a row and beating Schteve’s record for the worst start to the PL I expct some to turn on Rafa soon. These are his players for the most part. In fact, they are his players beacause he has had the opportunity to sell anybody he wanted to.

    Rafa has not done a good job in recruitment as evidenced especially by the bench and Gayle banging them in at WBA. Lucky we only loaned him as we might need him next year.

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  16. My prediction was definitely bottom 5 and probably bottom 3 by January. I might have to revise that lower.

    I knew that Waugh, McDonald and Ed (and to some extent Olly) would be made to eat their words when they said our “easier” run would/could have us pull away from the relegation zone before the transfer window opens.

    IT IS LIKE THEY HADN’T WATCHED ANY OF OUR GAMES.

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  17. Hughton should buy Ashley a pint and thank him for getting him away from this toxic mess all those years ago.

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  18. Eric, Gayle is doing well every game cause he’s at his level, just like when we were in championship and he was scoring . A fully fit Rondon will be the better PL player, it’s unfortunate he’s not fit, just like slimani wasn’t either.
    In an idea world we would of kept Gayle as back up for the new forward we bought with the mitrovic cash, oh wait………………..

    Ashley out

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  19. Well this is real kick in the nuts. Just got back from my nephews wedding to hear we lost at home to Brighton… 😳😳😳😡😡😡😡

    I definitely see us playing the mackems next year… gutted.

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  20. kimtoon:
    Eric, Gayle is doing well every game cause he’s at his level, just like when we were in championship and he was scoring . A fully fit Rondon will be the better PL player, it’s unfortunate he’s not fit, just like slimani wasn’t either.
    In an idea world we would of kept Gayle as back up for the new forward we bought with the mitrovic cash, oh wait………………..

    Ashley out

    Sorry Kim I can’t agree he has found his level. He was injured for some of last season but I think he is now playing in a system which plays two up front. I have never liked one up front but it can be played successfully if you have quick players who can get up in support. We don’t have those quick players. In fact we are slow and pedestrian. As much as Carr was criticised by some his buys have been much better than Rafa’s and as much as I like Rafa and the way he conducts himself and I accept he is an excellent coach it is his judgement on a player’s ability that leaves me concerned. I hope I am seriously wrong. Where was the harm in hanging onto Armstrong who would have been as effective as Perez and possibly more so.

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