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The Kingdom of Geordie Arabia hasn’t exactly burst into life, with one point from three matches against a trio of London teams. Will things get any easier with a trip to the south coast?
History doesn’t offer them much hope. Brighton won just nine league matches last season, and only two by a margin of more than two goals – 3-0 both home and away against Newcastle.
Saturday 5.30pm – Brighton v Newcastle
BT Sport 1
And while the Magpies won both meetings when the sides finished first and second in the Championship in 2016/17, it’s only they who look likely to be heading through the relegation trapdoor and into the second tier at present.
In their four years together in the Premier League, Newcastle have yet to win, with four draws and a single goal all they can show for the eight clashes. By amassing 16 points against them, they have been the Seagulls’ favourite opponent since they were promoted to the top flight.
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While the richest football club in the world will win a league match eventually this season – right? – a simple look at the league table and the record of the two teams almost entirely rules it out from occurring here.
Newcastle’s four draws in 2021/22 have come against teams who go into this weekend no higher than 13th in the league table. Norwich aside (and they will usually bale out any poor record), they’ve conceded the most goals in the division too.
Meanwhile, Graham Potter’s team have won four and drawn two against the clubs currently 11th or lower and though they struggled at the Amex for much of last season, they only lost twice against the teams who finished 2020/21 in the bottom 12 of the table.
As always with Brighton, there’s a concern about how they’re going to score when they continue to be wasteful in front of goal. However, Newcastle have the worst underlying defensive statistics in the top flight. That is one coal mine in which they are deeper than the Canaries, and it should enable the home side to take the three points here.
Aside from when they faced a Manchester City team who had to play with 10 men for 80 minutes, the last time Brighton scored more than twice in a league game was against, no prizes here, Newcastle.
That’s a run of 18 games (plus the 3-2 win over City) in which they’ve scored a total of 15 goals, which isn’t red hot form in anyone’s language.
Whether Graeme Jones/Eddie Howe/Amanda Staveley (delete as appropriate) can manage the Magpies to a solid defensive performance remains to be seen, but with no clean sheet yet this season and no shut outs against a team currently in the Premier League since January, it’s possible the Seagulls could score a few here.
But, lads, it’s Brighton. Scoring lots of goals looks beyond them every week no matter how many chances they create so let’s go for under 2.5 goals here.
Leandro Trossard hasn’t made too many goal contributions this season, but they have been important when he has got involved. The Belgian scored the winner at Brentford, assisted the decisive goal in the 2-1 victory over Leicester and bagged the equaliser in a very impressive Brighton performance at Anfield last weekend.
While he hasn’t been scoring loads of goals, only five players across the last four Premier League match weeks have had more shots on target. Trossard has been getting chances and as an ever-present in Potter’s league side that’s bound to continue here. Back him to score at any time.
These two teams wouldn’t be your automatic choices for the role of Premier League bad boys, but they are joint top of the division for yellow cards on 26 apiece. The ref for this one, David Coote, only dishes out bookings at about the league average rate, but Brighton and Newcastle love to pick them up. That mean ‘Cards’ looks a good market to investigate for this match.
Newcastle have had at least two yellows in eight of their 10 matches and had Jonjo Shelvey sent off against Spurs too. With that record and plenty of defending to be done, then over 1.5 cards for the away side looks a cert.
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Saturday football tips
MANCHESTER DERBY TIPS
- Phil Thompson: My 4 Man Utd v Man City tips
- Man Utd v Man City Bet Builder tips from Paddy’s trader
- Check out this 25/1 Bet Builder for Man Utd v Man City
PHIL THOMPSON’S TIPS
- Thommo’s 11/2 Premier League tips for Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs
- Chelsea v Burnley tips for the Stamford Bridge showdown
- A 7/2 punt is among Thommo’s Brighton v Newcastle tips for 5.30pm
AND DON’T MISS
- Paddy’s 29/1 Saturday Football Acca for the late games across Europe
- Premier League TV Fixtures: Man Utd v Man City the blockbuster TV clash this weekend
- Next Newcastle manager odds: Who will lead Toon after Unai Emery snub?
- Ronaldo ruled out of derby with back injury from carrying Man United