Welcome one and all to Championship match day. Today marks the second tier return to St. James’ Park of Toon Army favorite Chris Hughton, who many will remember as having lead the Magpies to a memorable Championship League win in 2010. In that season Newcastle remained unbeaten at home in all competition and lost only 4 league games. Under Rafa we have already lost two league games this time around – so it goes to show just how well Hughton did with us and for that he should be given a warm welcome.
That said, I’d like all good sentiment to be put aside come kick off, because he has his Brighton side playing some very good football and they are expected to be rivals at the top end of the table. Former Toon target Anthony Knockheart is on fire for the Seagulls, whereas the Magpies do not have a recognised fit left winger. Dwight Gayle and Aleksander Mitrovic are both out injured, so it is difficult to see where our goals will come from today, albeit Ajoze Perez is fresh off a midweek Cup goal scoring double. Today will be a good measure of where Newcastle United are in terms of squad depth and quality for the rigors that the best this league has to offer. Hughton and Brighton certainly represent that.
Stockdale, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Kayal, Sidwell, Skalak; Baldock, Murray.
Maenpaa (GK), Hunt, Stephens, Norwood, Murphy, LuaLua, Hemed.
Come On You Toon!!!