With both teams looking to bounce back from frustrating defeats, the stakes are high at the Amex Stadium on Saturday. Look ahead to the match with our Brighton vs Newcastle prediction and preview.
Brighton vs Newcastle: The Quick Hits
- Brighton (39.7%) are just given the edge over Newcastle United (31.5%) by the Opta supercomputer in this match between two teams targeting European qualification.
- Both sides are looking to get back on track after disappointing losses on Matchday 3, with Newcastle desperate to avoid a third straight Premier League defeat.
- Brighton have not lost two consecutive matches since Roberto De Zerbi’s second and third games in charge of the club last October.
Brighton and Newcastle have both spent time at the top of the table in the early stages of this season, but each side now has a point to prove as Saturday’s Premier League match approaches.
A flying start to the season from Brighton appeared to confirm last season’s stunning sixth-place finish that took them to the UEFA Europa League was no flash in the pan. But when their 4-1 wins over Luton Town and Wolves were followed up by a 3-1 home loss to West Ham, initial optimism dipped slightly.
Still, Brighton have not lost consecutive matches since October 2022, which was when Roberto De Zerbi was taking charge of just his second and third matches after replacing Graham Potter.
Despite losing to West Ham, Brighton are sixth in the league table and within striking distance of the early leaders. They have racked up the most shots (68), shots on target (30), touches in the opposition box (159) and accumulated the most xG (7.7) of any side in the Premier League so far this season.
For context on their attacking prowess, the 30 attempts on target is the most a team has had in their opening three games in a season for over a decade, with Manchester City – who had an incredible 31 in the 2011-12 season – the last side to generate a higher total.
A team with those impressive statistics are therefore not ideal opponents for Newcastle to face at a time they are desperate to avoid suffering a third straight Premier League defeat.
The narrow loss away to Man City in their second game would not have come as a major concern to Eddie Howe, but he will have been more worried about last week’s home clash with Liverpool. Newcastle were dominant for much of the contest and appeared set for victory when Anthony Gordon put them in front and Virgil van Dijk was sent off in the first half. But two late goals from Liverpool substitute Darwin Núñez stunned the Magpies and meant their fantastic start – a 5-1 victory over Aston Villa inspired by Alexander Isak – had not been followed up.
Lewis Hall is in contention to make his debut for Newcastle at the Amex Stadium after joining on loan from Chelsea, and Howe will also check on the fitness of midfielder Joelinton, who is battling a knee injury, to see if he will be able to take up his usual place in the lineup.
With Julio Enciso out for Brighton, look out again for Kaoru Mitoma’s influence against Newcastle. The Japan international already has three goal involvements this season and only Man City playmaker Phil Foden (six) has created more chances following a ball carry than Mitoma (five).
Mitoma (530m) is one of the three Premier League players who have progressed the ball the furthest upfield this season and is the highest-ranked player in that statistical category who does not play in defence (another Brighton player, Lewis Dunk, tops the overall list at an impressive 682m).
Pascal Groß is another man in form for the home team. He became Brighton’s all-time leading EPL scorer with a late goal in the West Ham defeat, which was his 27th strike in the competition. He has scored four goals in his last six games at the Amex, as many as he managed in his previous 30 in front of his own fans. Groß is not just a goal threat either – he has created 14 chances in the Premier League so far this season, the most of any player prior to kick-off on MD 4.
As well as this big test against Newcastle, Brighton have matches against Manchester United, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Man City to play before the end of October, so we are about to see how they cope with a significant test of their credentials either side of the international break.
Brighton vs Newcastle Head-to-Head
Brighton and Newcastle met at the Amex in August early last season and played out a 0-0 draw, while the Magpies thrashed De Zerbi’s men 4-1 shortly before the end of the campaign in May, with late goals from Callum Wilson and Bruno Guimarães putting them on the brink of UEFA Champions League qualification, which was subsequently achieved.
Those results mean that after going unbeaten in their first nine Premier League meetings with Newcastle, Brighton are now winless in three, collecting just one point from that sequence of head-to-head clashes, though they have still fared well in home matches against the Magpies.
In a sign of how far the teams have come in a relatively short period, the last time Newcastle recorded an away win over Brighton in 2017 came when they were both playing in the Championship. There have been six meetings at Brighton in the Premier League since, with two home wins and four draws.
Gordon comes into the game on a high after his goal against Liverpool. He has two goals and one assist across his last four Premier League appearances, a much-needed run that broke a streak of not scoring or assisting for 20 top-flight matches before that.
The winger also has fond memories of facing Brighton. As an Everton player, Gordon scored his first-ever Premier League goal against them in January 2022, and even went on to net a second goal in that game, but Brighton still prevailed with a 3-2 win.
Since Brighton lost to Arsenal at the end of last year, Fulham, Everton and West Ham are the only three teams to have won in the last 13 Premier League matches to take place at the Amex, with De Zerbi’s side beating Liverpool and Man Utd as well as drawing with champions Man City at home in 2023.
The goal scored by Groß late in the loss to West Ham last time out means Brighton have scored in their last 19 Premier League matches. They will now look to make it 20 consecutive league games with a goal for the first time since 2011, when the Seagulls netted for 22 consecutive matches across both League One and the Championship.
Two straight defeats for Newcastle is a rare occurrence under Howe. Indeed, they had only lost two in total from their previous 15 matches in the top flight before those losses to Man City and Liverpool. They have not suffered three defeats in a row since March-April 2022, and know they will have to produce a fine display if they are to avoid that fate at Brighton.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Brighton vs Newcastle Prediction
This is unquestionably one of the more difficult Premier League predictions this week, with both Brighton and Newcastle now regularly mixing it with the competition’s elite.
The Opta supercomputer gives Brighton the edge, handing them a 39.7% chance of victory. Newcastle are not too far behind at 31.5%, while a draw – which is given a 28.8% chance – might appeal to many.
Looking more widely at the 2023-24 season as whole, the Opta supercomputer has simulated the Premier League campaign 10,000 times to ascertain the overall chances of both teams.
Its current assessment is that Newcastle’s most likely finish is fifth place, with Brighton tipped to finish in seventh position.
But both sides are live contenders in a competitive race for a top-four finish, with Newcastle achieving that goal 25.8% of the time, and Brighton doing so in 12.3% of the simulations.