Newcastle United will be looking to finally register their first win of the season when they welcome Brighton to St. James' Park on Saturday.
The Magpies currently sit in the relegation zone and are going through a period of severe unrest meaning Brighton, currently 13th, will be heading to St. James' Park with hopes of another big win on the road.
The Seagulls come into this game on a high after Glenn Murray’s goal gave them a 1-0 win over West Ham before the international break, ending a run of five games without a win.
With the future of manager Rafael Benitez in doubt and the ill feelings towards owner Mike Ashley growing by the week, Newcastle need to start getting results on the field to get the fans back on side; and fast.
How to Watch:
|When:||Saturday 20th October @ 3pm (GMT)|
|Where:||St. James’ Park|
|How can I watch?||Sky Sports Gillette Soccer Saturday or BT Sport Score|
Newcastle 0-0 Brighton, Premier League 30th December 2017
The last time these two sides met at St. James' Park it was a bit of a game to forget for many, but was an still an important point for both sides at the time.
In a game of few chances, it was Matt Ryan in the Brighton goal who shined in this new year battle with brilliant saves from Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle helping his side take a point back to the south coast.
The Magpies were able to avoid an embarrassing club record sixth defeat in a row by holding on for a draw, while Brighton who were limited to few chances, seemed content to end 2017 with a point as they were on their own run of one win in ten games.
Glenn Murray vs. Martin Dubravka
Brighton’s main man this season has by far been their veteran striker Glenn Murray who despite being 35 years of age has five goals to his name in the Premier League this season.
He is flourishing in this Brighton side right now, and Newcastle will need to shut him out if they are to get something from this game.
The man that they will hope can do just that will be their Czech keeper Dubravka, who put in his best performance of the season in their recent defeat at Old Trafford.
He has proved to be an important signing for Newcastle since joining last January, playing a key role in keeping them in the Premier League.
Murray has terrorised defences so far this season and last time out bullied the West Ham back four, so Dubravka will need to be on top of his game on Saturday to give his side any chance of success.
Newcastle will be without long term absentee Florian Lejeune due to his knee ligament injury. Fellow centre back Ciaran Clark will also miss the game after pulling out of the Republic of Ireland’s latest squad with a thigh injury.
They will be hoping to welcome back both Paul Dummett and Solomon Rondon, who have both missed the last two games with muscular injuries with Dummett expected to start due to their lack of depth at left back.
Yoshinori Muto and Kenedy both limped off at Old Trafford but are both expected to be fit this weekend.
Brighton could be without Dutch midfielder Davy Propper who left the Amex Stadium on crutches after their win against West Ham, but could welcome back midfield duo Dale Stephens and Pascal Gross.
Predicted Line Ups:
Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett; Shelvey, Diame; Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy; Muto
Brighton: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Stephens, Kayal; Knockaeart, Gross, March; Murray
Both sides come into this in relatively poor form although Brighton will be boosted with that win last time out and sit higher in the league than Newcastle so will be confident they can come away with the win.
Newcastle are the side that need the win the most, their season just hasn’t got started yet and the Magpies need to start getting points before they find themselves adrift at the foot of the table.
Due to Murray's form and Newcastle's need for a win, it's likely this game will only end in one result: a draw.
Predicted scoreline: 1-1