BRIGHTON welcome Newcastle to The Amex on Monday evening. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Brighton vs Newcastle | Monday 20th July 2020, 18:00 | Sky Sports
Mathematically, Brighton need a point to rubber-stamp their survival, but on paper, it might be not be needed with Aston Villa having to win their two remaining games with a goal difference swing.
After a tricky run of fixtures, especially here at the Amex, the Seagulls will look to make sure of their top-flight status against an injury-hit Newcastle.
Graham Potter has come in and changed the style of play to a more patient, passing build-up, and he’ll be hoping to for a sixth home win of the season against a threadbare Newcastle.
The visitors are in a comfortable mid-table position having picked up eight points in their first four games back after the restart. But since then, the Magpies have toiled losing three on the bounce.
They aren’t helped by their growing injury list, which contains the names of at least seven first-team players. They include Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles, Isaac Hayden and Ciaran Clark.
So, Steve Bruce will have to patch up that defensive line as well as he can, and that could see him hand a debut to 20-year-old Kell Watts, who has been permitted to play by the Premier League.
The betting angles
With the season coming to a close and both of these sides virtually safe, it could well have a training game feel about it. Plus, with Newcastle’s injuries, then that should swing the pendulum in favour of an almost fully fit Brighton, who have a doubt over Adam Webster.
It’s a tough one to weigh up. At home, Brighton average 51% possession, while in away games, Newcastle have 41% – the lowest average. So, we’ll see the Magpies sit off and allow Brighton to see plenty of the ball.
Against Southampton, Potter went with a back three and he could go with a similar ploy here to play higher up the pitch against a deep-lying Newcastle.
That should open up the passes markets available. Dale Stephens, Lewis Dunk and Davy Pröpper are three who instantly come to mind in that market, but I’m siding with Dan Burn.
He usually plays at left-back but did play as the left centre-back in the three on Thursday. If that’s the case, he could well help to rack up the passes here. In 20 of the 30 games this season where he’s played 45+ minutes, he’s attempted 50+ passes.
In the reverse at St James’s Park, his passing stats read 80/86 – the most he’s completed in any game.
Some parallels can be drawn between Newcastle and Crystal Palace, with how both set-up. In both games against Palace, Burn had 75/91 & 65/80 passes, so I’m more than happy to take the 11/10 on offer with Coral.
Although Allan Saint-Maximin is a doubt, Newcastle are still likely to play on the counter-attack. That suits Miguel Almiron who has improved vastly over the last few months.
After a troubled start, the Paraguayan has got 10 goals in all comps this season, and he’s come to life with some added flair in the side. He’s been able to drift in field at times and he isn’t afraid to shoot.
He’s had 64 shots with 22 of them on target. In his last 10 games, he’s had nine shots on target, including in three of his last four.
It’s 6/4 with Sky Bet for him to test Mat Ryan, and it’s worth a play here with how the visitors might be able to pick Brighton off on the break.
In what is a tricky game to read much into with that end of term feel, these two player props look worth having on side.