Chris Hughton has confirmed that midfielder Davey Propper is OUT of Saturday’s game at St James’ Park – with him also forced to make a ‘late decision’ on recently injured duo Pascal Gross and Dale Stephens.
The Brighton boss has also confirmed that left-back Gaetan Bong picked up an injury on international duty, so he may also miss out.
Gross was Brighton’s player of the season last year and their main source of goals and assists, however a Brighton fan I spoke to this week told me just how important and underrated both Stephens and Propper are for them in midfield.
Here’s what he told us (ahead of our weekly ‘Opposition Opinion’ piece) about the midfield duo, stating that their chances of winning on Saturday would be ‘close to zero’ if both missed out:
“Our two central midfielders, Davy Propper and Dale Stephens, don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve. They are the sort of workhorses who you only notice their importance when they aren’t there.
“The good news for you guys is that Stephens missed the West Ham game injured and Propper left the Amex on crutches having been subbed with 10 minutes remaining.
“If both of those are missing, I’d rank our chances of winning at St James’ Park is being close to zero.”
Considering what a big game is, it would be a real boost to our chances if they were without their best player and creative force in Gross and their first choice midfield pairing, Propper and Stephens.
As far as we’re concerned, the likes of Dummett, Muto and Kenedy are all set to be fit in time – however it’s not yet known if Salomon Rondon will be ready to return to the squad after a few weeks out with a thigh injury.