Newcastle aim to repeat impressive opening win against Brighton
Newcastle 1-1 Brighton
Newcastle looked impressively fresh as they defeated a weak West Ham last weekend, showing good transfer business as both goals were scored by new signings.
Callum Wilson looks like an astute piece of business in attack and will hope to score regularly for them this season.
Despite their 3-1 defeat against Chelsea, Brighton actually played better than the scoreline suggests and could have ended up taking a point with better finishing.
Although the two teams fared differently last weekend, their squads look fairly evenly matched and they will give each other a good game this weekend.
They both won their Carabao Cup games in midweek, so their spirits will be high coming into this one.
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 9th
Reasons to be cheerful:
Strong transfer signings this summer
Playing good, attacking football and will get chances
Reasons to be fearful:
Newcastle have never beaten Brighton in the Premier League
Have several injury concerns
Newcastle’s squad finally looks well-balanced at the start of this season. In recent years, they have either struggled to find good-quality creative players, or been weak at the back.
With the signings they have made, particularly Wilson, Fraser and Hendrick, they now look like a team capable of cementing a place in the top half of the table. Even the injury-prone Andy Carroll looks like he may be hitting some kind of form.
Not all teams will be as tame as West Ham were last weekend, however. Brighton will be a level better and Newcastle must face their poor history against the club from the south-coast having never beaten them in the Premier League.
It’ll be a close game this weekend and could come down to a moment of quality from either side. Newcastle have that quality, but must use it with more consistency this season.
Star Man – Callum Wilson
The £20m signing started with a bang last weekend. A good piece of business, he will add goal threat this season
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 15th
Reasons to be cheerful
Created plenty of chances vs. Chelsea last weekend
Strong 4-0 victory vs. Portsmouth in Carabao Cup midweek
Reasons to be fearful
Lack of out-and-out goalscorers
Newcastle have players who can hurt them
Manager Graham Potter will not be overly disappointed at the result against Chelsea. A defeat is never welcome, but when looking at a list of fixtures across a season, teams like Chelsea are free-hits for teams like Brighton.
Brighton impressed in spells against Chelsea, taking the lead and having chances to equalise in the second half. It was a respectable performance sprinkled with some magic from players like Lamptey and Trossard, who scored their goal.
Adam Lallana’s injury will be a concern for them, going off in the first half. His creativity is why Brighton have signed the former Liverpool midfielder and they will miss him if he is out for any length of time.
Also, a concern is who will score the goals to make them safe this season? Maupay and Trossard are their main scorers, though who else will step up if not?
They’ll certainly give Newcastle a good game, however.
Star Man – Leandro Trossard
Looked sharp against Chelsea, always wants to be involved taking on defenders and can grab a goal too
An evenly matched game between two teams with mid-table aspirations
Newcastle have more quality, though Brighton will fight hard
May finish even, though a moment of quality could settle it
Newcastle will see their first home match of the season as an opportunity to record two wins out of two and continue their winning form.
It may not be so easy, as Brighton will be frustrated at missing their chances against Chelsea last weekend. They must work out where their goals are coming from, but they still have a solid side.
Newcastle have players of high quality and a moment of magic from them could see it settle the match in their favour.
But this one could just end up being a draw, which neither side would be unhappy with at this stage
Newcastle 1-1 Brighton