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

Our final away day of the season and a long trip to the South Coast here for Bruce and the boys, who’ll be looking to at least end a run of defeats after three losses on the spin.

We were better against Spurs on Wednesday and could’ve got something from the game on another day, however more woeful defending cost us in the end.

On the subject of defending, it’s a good job we aren’t in desperate need of points here, with us set to face the Seagulls with FIVE of our six senior centre-backs on the sidelines!

That said, it would be nice if Bruce threw in the odd youngster by choice here – not through necessity – as this really does feel like the perfect time for a few of Watts, M Longstaff, Young or Allan to show us what they can do.

At the end of a season that has fizzled out in recent weeks, at least they could bring a sense of energy and intrigue to proceedings!

Predicted XI

(4-2-3-1): Dubravka – Manquillo, Fernandez, Watts, Rose – Bentaleb, Shelvey – Lazaro, Almiron, Joelinton – Gayle.

Dubravka has started every league game so far this season and made more saves than any other Premier League stopper in the mean time, so expect to see him play once again.

The defence is anyone’s guess, but with every senior centre-back bar Fernandez ruled out and Kelland Watts now cleared to play by the Premier League, we may well see the Alnwick-born defender make his Premier League debut alongside the Argentine.

Krafth is an option, but he’s struggled the two times Bruce has used him in central areas over the past few weeks, particularly in the second half of that 1-3 defeat to Spurs.

As a result, Manquillo may return at right-back after a rest, while Rose will almost certainly come in down the left after being ineligible to play against his parent club last time out.

Hayden and Sean Longstaff have been described as ‘big doubts’ and surely won’t be risked, while Matty Longstaff doesn’t seem all that likely to start until his contract situation is sorted (which it still isn’t based on Bruce’s frustrated comments over the weekend!), so Bentaleb and Shelvey seem likely to continue in the middle.

Jonjo looks better when Gayle is on the pitch, yet a little lost without Hayden from a defensive perspective, with Bundesliga reject Nabil Bentaleb often looking like he’s running through treacle when tracking back. He surely needs a big performance here if he’s to convince us he’s worth signing permanently from Schalke. The Algerian has got ability, but he’s generally been a liability who’s bypassed too easily when players run at him.

With Saint-Maximin picking up a calf problem, I’d like to see Lazaro get a chance to show what he can do from the off (not just a 10-minute cameo when the game is gone!), although Bruce tends to favour Ritchie when fit. He scored a stunner last time out, but surely it’s time to see what Lazaro is capable of before we decide whether he’s worth paying £20m for ahead of his return to Inter Milan?

Elsewhere, Joelinton could come back into the side down the left after only featuring as a late sub in our last two, while Almiron seems likely to continue in the no.10 role behind an in-form Gayle.

Carroll appears to be fit again, but Gayle has looked sharp since football returned, being our top scorer in that time with 3 goals and a constant pest for opposition defences with some good movement and link play.

Not only that, it was noticeable how less of a threat we looked when he came off in that 1-3 defeat to Spurs, with Shelvey appearing to come alive when the pair are on the pitch together and in the mood.

The Opposition

Here’s a few of the ‘ones to watch’ in Graham Potter’s Seagull’s side:

Neal Maupay – The Frenchman has done a very decent job since making a £20m move from Brentford last summer. He got into double figures with a goal at Southampton in their last game and always looks to get in behind. A fox in the box who’ll be looking to capitalise on our recent defensive frailties!

Tariq Lamptey – The former Chelsea youth product has been outstanding since football returned, showing real quality and composure at right-back in recent weeks. The 19-year-old looks good going forward, has pace to burn and endless energy. One to watch for the future if not Monday night!

Leandro Trossard – Another recent signing who looks a handy player. The Belgian international winger has been involved in 9 goals this season and has a decent left foot on him.

Dan Burn – A 6ft 7′ left-back who was released by Newcastle United as an 11-year-old. For a giant full-back he isn’t beaten as easily as you’d expect, but it will be interesting to see how he copes if we opt for pace down our right.

Team news

Danny Rose will return after being ineligible against Spurs, but Bruce has described Allan Saint-Maximin (calf) as a ‘big doubt’.

Jamaal Lascelles (ankle) and Fabian Schar (shoulder) have been ruled out for the season after surgery, while Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden remain sidelined with hamstring injuries.

Andy Carroll is back in training and could feature, as could U-23 centre-back Kelland Watts, who could benefit from our injury crisis at the back, with Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark set to miss out once again.

Brighton centre-back Adam Webster is touch and go, while Glen Murray may move back to the bench after a rare start at Southampton last time out.

Winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh could return to their squad, but Steven Alzate and Jose Izquierdo both remain out.


Our results this season without Allan Saint-Maximin aren’t pretty and our defending in recent weeks has been even uglier, so I can’t say I’m too optimistic going into this.

On the one hand you’d like to see a response after three straight defeats, however we’ve looked like a team that has nothing to play for of late and Brighton needs another point to guarantee they’ll be a Premier League team next season.

It’s also worth noting that they played us off the park (albeit without actually scoring!) in the reverse fixture last year, with them having 77% of the ball in that 0-0 draw at St James’ Park!

I’m hoping we can build on what was, in parts, an improved display in the defeat to Tottenham, but with ASM missing and us set to field a patched up defence, I think we might have to settle for a point at best!

Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Newcastle


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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.

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

  1. I would really like Brucie to take Joelinton out of the firing line and for us to have a closer look at lazaro but I fear Olly is right and it will be Joe at Brighton.

    I am going to sit on the fence here and say I dont think we will win. We did OK against Spurs and Kane proved again today that if you give him a look he can destroy any team. What I am saying is I am not downhearted about the performance or result against Spurs and that doesnt have much bearing on the Brighton game. We are not on the beach yet and I would like a decent performance to get a draw and make my prediction of 5 points from the games after Sheffield come true 🙂


  2. We may as well have another look at Bentaleb as well. I think I have made up my mind already that he is not good enough, but go ahead Nabil, prove me wrong.


  3. They arent showing the FA Cup here but from the Guardian minute by minute De Gea has had another ‘mare. I think he was their player of the season 3 years running. What happens to some goalies? Hart. The Giant Arsed Short Armed Mackem? They lose confidence and become liabilities.

    Hart began diving over the ball pretending he was AMOST there.

    De Gea lets the ball go through him.

    Pickford gets beat at the near post and is constantly out of position. I think Acelotti will buy another keeper so the England problem with Pickford may solve itself.


  4. Was watching the B’mth – S-ton game and they were talking about Ings and his scoring record. The commentator casually mentioned that he was on pace to be the highest scorer since Keegan when he returned to the PL to play for S’ton. Keegan was top scorer in the old first division that year. Can you believe that? 26 goals in a mediocre Southampton team. I sometimes forget what a great player Keegan was. I think he won the Euro player of the year with Hamburg and got them the Bundesliga title.


  5. You know I am not a big Bruce supporter and think that if Ashley stays, he and Brucie will relegate us next year. But there is also a lot of negativity because we have lost 3 games in a row and are likely to lose at least 4 of our last 5. I think some of this is unwarranted and the performances might not match some of the results. That is the problem with football, the results skew our recollection of how the game actually went. What do I mean? I will try not to make excuses for Bruce or the players. So, the games after the restart:

    Sheffield – we battered a team that many said were hard to play and had the Manager of the Year.

    Villa – pretty even. Villa are nowhere near as bad a team as their league position suggests. They spent 140 million in the summer and already had Grealish and McGinn.

    Bournemouth – we tore them apart. Should have been 6 nil.

    West Ham – same as Villa. Perhaps they edged it but again they were a team in a false position given their level of investment and talent.

    City – didnt see the game but many teams get battered by City.

    Watford – ran the first half. 2 penalties against. Bruce made some errors but there was fatigue. A draw would have been fair as it was a game of 2 halfs.

    Spurs – we were probably the better team but we do not have Harry Kane. 3-1 flattered them with a last minute goal.

    It hasnt been that bad in terms of quality of football and results. It is recency bias again because we lost the last 3 games and that is making us more negative about the performances.


  6. Hope we win tomorrow so the post-match interviewer can ask Graham Potter “why the long face”?


  7. Looking forward to the Rafa v Bruce comparison pre match by the pundits….not.

    Too many out injured so suspect a loss .


  8. Danny Mulls is worried about the PIF deal because he “has been to the middle east”. He reckons that makes him an expert on how they do business,


  9. We have extended the shirt sponsor deal for’ a number of years’ according to Penfold and are looking at signing David Turnbull from Motherwell for £2m, the lad was going to sign for Celtic last year but has had a serious knee issue so it fell through.
    Sounds like business as usual .


  10. Good to see St Max in the team for entertainment value alone. If he gets injured, then he will be out of the Liverpool game which I dont expect anything from anyway. Then will have 2 months to recover.

    Brucie will get slammed if Max gets injured but it is a low risk bet for him except for the abuse he will receive on social media.


  11. Eric, well i hope his hammy is ok, because if it’s not a minor problem could be turned into a disaster .
    I wouldn’t risk him personally, it’s hardly a vital match apart from Bruce wanting more points than Rafa 😉


  12. Graham Potter walks into a bar in Brighton earlier today and sees a couple of Geordies. They ask him why the long face? Graham says he’s a bit worried about tonight’s game and facing St Max and Miggy. Neigh bother say the Geordies, you played us off the park at SJP. We did didn;t we, you’ve put my mind at ease. There, you heard it from the horse’s mouth courtesy of EricTV.


  13. Graham Potter walks into a bar in Brighton earlier today and sees a couple of Geordies. They ask him why the long face? Graham says he’s a bit worried about tonight’s game and facing St Max and Miggy. Neigh bother say the Geordies, you played us off the park at SJP. We did didn;t we, you’ve put my mind at ease. There, you heard it from the horse’s mouth courtesy of EricTV.

    Sorry to flog a erm… a dead horse. But everytime I see Potter it reminds of the joke – a horse walks into a bar and the barman asks why the long face?


  14. #nufc Dubravka, Manquillo, Krafth, Fernandez, Rose, Shelvey, Bentaleb, Ritchie, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Gayle

    Subs: Darlow, Carroll, Joelinton, Muto, Yedlin, Lazaro, Atsu, M. Longstaff, Watts. #nufc

    Krafth again, why ?


  15. Prediction? I have no idea, but everybody is going for a draw so I will go for – not a draw.


  16. Premier League
    Athletic shoe Allan Saint-Maximin has completed 1️⃣1️⃣6️⃣ dribbles this season, the most by a Frenchman in a PL season since David Ginola in 1999/00 (131) Flag of France


  17. No youngsters n the pitch. I don’t care about the result but the selection shows what I have said before that Bruce doesn’t have the balls to be a good manager.


  18. Cra.p first half, exactly as I would expect from 2 mid table teams with nothing to play for … zero excitement, 🥱🥱🥱😴😴😴

    Site still not working right… meh


  19. 72nd minute our firs subs. Carroll and Joelinton. What an inspirational manager we have. One of footballs great risk takers.


  20. This site is now even more cra.p than that match was. Have to keep putting my details every comment and comments keep disappearing…


  21. Toon Toon:
    This site is now even more cra.p than that match was. Have to keep putting my details every comment and comments keep disappearing…

    Toon Toon:
    This site is now even more cra.p than that match was. Have to keep putting my details every comment and comments keep disappearing…

    Yep, owners really should have it sorted by now. Feel for Olly banging out articles that few are now reading due to site issues.
    Used to be a vibrant busy blog once upon a time.
    As for the game, meh


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