Fri 1 Sept 2023, 11:50 · NUFC News

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Newcastle United: Premier League gameweek 4 preview

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Newcastle United: Premier League gameweek 4 preview
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Eddie Howe takes his Newcastle side to the Amex Stadium this Saturday evening, for a 5.30 p.m. BST kick-off against Roberto De Zerbi's Brighton.

The game will be beamed out live on Sky, as the head coach and his players seek to make amends for last week's late collapse against Liverpool.

And, having taken just three points from the opening three games, the Magpies probably need to register some sort of result here to remove some pressure.

Here's everything you need to know before the big match, with all of the latest team news, the most accurate predicted lineups you'll find anywhere, where to watch, and more.

What's the latest team news?

11 Botman
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Sven Botman is a serious doubt for Newcastle after being forced off with what initially looked like a very serious ankle injury last Sunday. The prognosis is much better than first feared, thankfully, but it would be a real surprise to see the big Dutchman involved. He hasn't trained fully all week, only managing some light jogging, but Howe is going to give him until the last minute to prove his fitness.

Joelinton is in the same boat as Botman, unfortunately, having also been unable to train all week due to a knee issue. While it seems the Brazilian has a better chance of starting than his Dutch teammate, both players seem more likely to miss out than not at this stage. Howe says he's hoping for a late recovery from each of them, but time is quickly running out.

Otherwise, the head coach is only without long-term injury victims Joe Willock (hamstring) and Emil Krafth (knee).

Newcastle United Squad

Goalkeepers: Nick Pope, Martin Dúbravka, Loris Karius, Mark Gillespie

Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Tino Livramento, Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles, Sven Botman*, Paul Dummett, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Lewis Hall

Midfielders: Sandro Tonali, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, Lewis Miley, Joelinton*, Elliot Anderson, Matt Ritchie

Forwards: Miguel Almirón, Jacob Murphy, Alexander Isak, Callum Wilson, Anthony Gordon, Harvey Barnes

* = very doubtful

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Roberto De Zerbi isn't holding his pre-match press conference until this afternoon, so we'll go with what we know as of Friday morning.

The Italian is definitely without Miguel Almirón's compatriot Julio Enciso (knee) and Jakub Moder (also knee), who are both set for lengthy spells on the sidelines. Tariq Lamptey (knee again) is also a doubt.

Otherwise, the Seagulls look to be pretty strong, with new signing Carlos Baleba from Lille set to go straight into the squad.

It remains to be seen whether Ansu Fati's loan move from Barcelona will be finalised in time for the forward to feature, but at the moment it appears unlikely.

Brighton & Hove Albion Squad

Goalkeepers: Bart Verbruggen, Jason Steele

Defenders: James Milner, Joël Veltman, Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk, Igor, Jan Paul van Hecke, Pervis Estupiñán

Midfielders: Pascal Groß, Billy Gilmour, Carlos Baleba, Mahmoud Dahoud, Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma, Adam Lallana, Simon Adingra, Facundo Buonanotte

Forwards: João Pedro, Danny Welbeck, Evan Ferguson, Ansu Fati*

* = very doubtful

How will the teams line up?

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With Botman and Joelinton likely to miss out, this is the hardest call of the season so far.

Given Jamaal Lascelles' recent "issue", which Howe didn't seem best pleased about in his press conference, it would be a surprise to see the club captain brought in for a start. Instead, Matt Targett should play at left-back with Dan Burn shuffling inside to join Fabian Schär in the heart of the back four.

It's a tougher decision in midfield for the head coach, with Sean Longstaff and Elliot Anderson both vying for their first starts of the season. Purely based on seniority and Howe's use of substitutes last weekend, we'd expect to see Longstaff coming in on the right of Bruno Guimarães with Sandro Tonali moving across to the left.

If the above happens, we should see Lewis Hall and Lewis Miley making the bench for the first time this campaign, too.

Newcastle United (4-3-3)

Starting XI: Pope; Trippier (c), Schär, Burn, Targett (Botman); Longstaff (Joelinton), Guimarães, Tonali; Almirón, Isak, Gordon

Substitutes: Dúbravka; Livramento, Lascelles, Hall; Anderson, Miley; Murphy, Wilson, Barnes

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Coming in off the back of a surprise 3-1 home defeat to West Ham, De Zerbi is expected to make a few changes here.

The most likely one appears to be in goal, where Bart Verbruggen and Jason Steele have already been rotating. Verbruggen wasn't great last week, so Steele should get the nod.

Elsewhere, James Milner could come under threat from Joël Veltman at right-back, while De Zerbi also has plentiful options in the centre of his midfield. Billy Gilmour could lose his place to Mahmoud Dahoud or new signing Carlos Baleba.

Up front, there'll likely be at least one change, too, with João Pedro pushing for a start at the expense of either Evan Ferguson or Danny Welbeck.

Brighton & Hove Albion (4-2-3-1)

Starting XI: Steele; Milner, Webster, Dunk (c), Estupiñán; Groß, Gilmour; March, João Pedro, Mitoma; Welbeck

Substitutes: Verbruggen; Veltman, Igor, van Hecke; Dahoud, Lallana, Baleba, Adingra; Ferguson

Who will referee the game and who is the VAR?

Atwell
Will Palmer/Allstar/Getty Images

Stuart Atwell will be in charge of this one, with the Warwickshire-based whistler overseeing a quartet of Magpies games in 2022/23. He refereed our Premier League and League Cup wins at Southampton, the league draw at Bournemouth, and the delightful home victory over Manchester United.

Darren Bond is the VAR, with Constantine Hatzidakis and James Mainwaring running the lines. Craig Pawson will again be the fourth official, though you could be forgiven for mistaking him as Jürgen Klopp's assistant with the amount of time he spent side-by-side with the German last weekend.

What kits will the teams be wearing?

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Howard Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

As the home side, Brighton will be in their usual blue and white striped shirts with blue shorts and blue socks.

Newcastle are set to debut the "Saudi green" away kit competitively, with green shirts, white shorts, and white socks set to be the order of the day (as it was in the US Summer Series).

What have the managers said about the game?

Howe
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United Football Club

Eddie Howe sat down with the media at Darsley Park on Friday morning, with his most notable comments about the game being:

"Sven (Botman)’s had an ankle scan and it doesn’t appear too good. There is definitely an injury there but it presents okay. It is very bruised and a little bit swollen but has been very lightly jogging this week. We’re going to see how he is today and make a decision for this weekend.

Again, (Joelinton’s) another player that we’re going to make a late decision on. He hasn’t trained this week. Very similar to Sven, he’s done some light jogging and feels better with each day. We’re going to make a late call.

I think they’re a very interesting team. Roberto (De Zerbi) has done an amazing job. He’s a very unique coach in the way he gets his teams to play. Not many, or any, coaches I’ve seen like him and the style of play is very good.

They’re very ball-dominated and clever with how they set their teams up. He and his players deserve a lot of credit what what they’ve done and achieved last season. They’ve started this season well.

They’ve been brilliant for the Premier League. The way they’ve played the game, under Graham Potter and now under Roberto De Zerbi, has been a breath of fresh air. They’ve done it a really certain style and a very good football team, very attack-minded who have surprised people."

Roberto De Zerbi isn't holding his pre-match press conference until 1.30 p.m. BST on Friday, so we'll add his most pertinent quotes here a little bit later on.

Are tickets still available?

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Unfortunately, not, no. The 3,000 tickets in the away section of the Amex Stadium sold out to supporters with 1+ loyalty points, with the remainder being allocated in a season ticket holder ballot a few days later.

Brighton are known to be incredibly hot on ID checks at the turnstiles, while NUFC have said they'll be sending staff down to conduct their own ID checks on the day, too. Here's a reminder of what we mean by "ID checks".

Where can the game be watched or listened to?

We're on the box again, unsurprisingly! Sky Sports have the rights in the UK and Ireland this time around. The match will be on both Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League.

If you're planning on listening rather than watching, then you want BBC Radio 5 Live Sport nationally and BBC Radio Newcastle locally.

If you're overseas, LiveSoccerTV is the site you need to find your local listings.

What's our head-to-head record with Brighton?

023
Sky Sports

We've only played the Seagulls 32 times in our history and the results have been very even.

We've won 34% of games, Brighton have won 38%, and the other 28% have been drawn. However, we're yet to win at their ground in the Premier League era and this is our seventh attempt!

Here's the full record:

PlayedWonDrewLost
For
Against

32

11

9

12

39

33

Last season at the Amex we were battered but somehow managed to escape with a 0-0, while we won the reverse fixture 4-1 at St. James' on a night that all but confirmed our qualification to the Champions League.

Most recently, we beat Brighton 2-1 in Harrison, New Jersey as part of the US Summer Series. Elliot Anderson was the star that night.

What's the official NUFC.news score prediction?

This is an incredibly difficult one to predict, especially with the heavy doubts over Botman and Joelinton.

It's hard to feel too confident after last week's collapse and given how good Brighton are, too, so we'll sit on the fence and plump for a score draw. Let's go with 2-2.