After last weekends emphatic 2-0 home win over Nottingham Forest, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United side take a trip to the south coast as they face Brighton & Hove Albion in round two of the new Premier League campaign.
The Magpies got their season off to a winning start at St James’ Park last weekend. Nick Pope kept his first clean sheet of the campaign whilst well taken goals by Callum Wilson and Fabian Schar ensured the home side left with all three points.
The first home game of the season is always a special occasion for any side but there is something about a SJP crowd that makes it even more special. The return of the ever-popular Wor Flags following the takeover last season has really kicked the match-day experience up a notch. Eddie Howe’s team selection didn’t turn too many eyebrows. New signing Sven Botman was introduced in the final stages of the game and I suspect he will be eased into the side like our Brazilian sensation Bruno Guimaraes. It was good to see Miguel Almiron get his chance in the starting eleven after his impressive form during the pre season. A lot can change in twelve months, this time last year we looked unorganised, unfit and a team that didn’t have any cohesion. Right from Eddie Howe’s first game in change, you could tell the team mentality had changed, they looked fitter, rejuvenated and dedicated to fight for each other on the pitch. This was much the same last weekend and I am excited to see what this season holds for Wor Club.
Moving on to our opponents this weekend and the hosts of the game. The Seagulls will be looking to continue their winning start to the season as they come off the back of a deserved 2-1 away victory at Manchester United. Veteran midfielder Pascal Groß grabbing both goals in the 30th and 39th minute. An own goal by Alexis Mac Allister gifted the hosts a lifeline in the 68th minute but they couldn’t capitalise and suffered a nightmare start to the season.
Graham Potter is a manager that cannot be underestimated. The Brighton gaffer hasn’t got the biggest of squads and the majority of his side wouldn’t be what you call “world beaters” but he has got them playing a positive style of football where everyone is working as one unit which makes it enjoyable to watch. One thing which will concern them is the lack of new arrivals, Brighton have lost some of their big names who have moved on to pastures new. Marc Cucurella joined Chelsea, Yves Bissouma made the switch to Tottenham Hotspur and a handful of others landed loan moves elsewhere. There may be a couple of weeks left in the transfer window but the deadline will soon be upon us.
Brighton & Hove Albion Team News: Graham Potter isn’t expected to make any major changes to the side that toppled Manchester United at the Theatre of Nightmares (Credit to Paul Karter for that). Adam Lallana is expected to be named in the side and provide support for Danny Welbeck. Tariq Lamptey is an option to cover the wingback role.
Newcastle United Team News: Jonjo Shelvey has had surgery on his hamstring and will be out for around 12weeks. Jamaal Lascelles has recovered him the niggle he picked up in the pre-match warmups last weekend. Sven Botman might have to settle for another spot on the bench should Eddie Howe name an unchanged side from last weekend’s win.
Sutty’s Match Prediction: Even though both sides got their campaigns off to a start with wins, they will both be wanting to continue that in what will no doubt be a very competitive side. Even though the Magpies won their last meeting 2-1 at home in March 2022, the hosts have won four of the last ten games between the sides with five draws and one victory for the Magpies. Despite these stats, I predict Newcastle to come out on top down the South Coast. I think the momentum that the club has gathered over the recent 9 months or so will see Eddie Howe’s side return with the three points. Even though a 1-1 or 2-2 draw is probably what the majority of the public predict, my score-line prediction is a 2-1 victory for the Magpies with Callum Wilson scoring one and either Bruno or Miggy with the second. For those going to the game, have a blast!!