There is a meeting of two of the promoted clubs this weekend as Brighton host Newcastle United. These two clubs finished in the top two of the Championship last season, with the Magpies taking top spot on the final day due to Chris Hughton’s team conceding a late goal against Aston Villa. They will be keen to make up for that with a victory this weekend. In the two fixtures, last season, the team from Tyneside triumphed on both occasions. They will be hopeful of picking up another three points this weekend.
It has been a decent start to life in the Premier League for Brighton as they have taken four points from five matches. They will need to press on during the coming months, but they are adapting to their new surroundings and will be pleased that they have got some points on the board. Pascal Gross looks to be a great addition to their forward line and they will be looking for another good performance from him on Sunday.
Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United are more experienced at this level. It isn’t a huge surprise that they are the promoted team to have made the best start as they currently sit in fourth position. Although they will not stay there, it is an encouraging start and they have proved their doubters wrong in the process. Their transfer business was low-key, but the side looks to have improved a lot since last season.
Brighton have taken four points from their last three matches and have recovered well after an initial two defeats. Last weekend, they will be disappointed they didn’t take something from the game, after going into the lead at Bournemouth.
Newcastle United are one of the form teams of the division after three successive victories. Like Brighton, they lost their first two matches, but they have responded in perfect fashion and have the better form heading into this weekend.
The only change that Brighton are likely to make for the match this weekend is the return of captain Bruno at right-back. The rest of the team picks itself, but there will be a few that need to deliver a good performance to consolidate their starting position.
Rafa Benitez is difficult to predict, but there is no reason to make any changes to the team that beat Stoke City. Jonjo Shelvey and Javi Manquillo are the most likely to be recalled, but neither will be expecting to be on the team-sheet on Sunday.
Bruno should return after a back injury caused him to miss last week’s defeat by Bournemouth. Glenn Murray and Gaetan Bong are both fit, while Izzy Brown could be back from a hamstring injury.
Newcastle will be without Aleksandar Mitrovic who serves the final match of this suspension. Florian Lejeune has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Paul Dummett remains on the sidelines.
Score prediction: Brighton 1-2 Newcastle United
This will be a match that both teams will be looking to win. Brighton will want to put the record straight after last season’s final day heartbreak, but Newcastle look to be the better equipped to do well in the Premier League. Rafa Benitez has changed their style and they have adapted to suit their needs for the coming campaign. They are full of confidence and they should have enough to make it three successive victories against the Seagulls.