Brighton vs Newcastle | Saturday 20th March 2021, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Graham Potter’s forever misfiring Seagulls buoyant from a 2-1 win Westerly across the south coast at Southampton last time out host Newcastle United this Saturday, completely aware that a win would dampen all anxieties and doubts of them falling out of the Premier League this season.
The Magpies are one point and one spot below Brighton and Hove Albion in 17th, two points above Fulham so it is fair to say this is a huge one.
Brighton were very impressive in handing out a 3-0 drubbing in the reverse fixture, but what has followed sees this as a nasty matchup for them. They have struggled to break down the low blocks of Crystal Palace and West Brom in recent weeks, albeit with some misfortune, and Steve Bruce will look to recreate that.
It goes without saying just how much better the hosts are than their league position when you look at the expected goals (xG) figures. The fact is they have only won one of 14 home league games this term, which is somewhat unsustainable but certainly a damning indictment of the squad on their own turf.
That victory came with a 1-0 scoreline against Tottenham where they were made to sweat late on and rue missed chances, one of the main themes of their season.
One detail that the expected goals total of a single match can miss out is the average xG value per shot, Brighton tend to have a lot of lower probability shots rather than creating big chances and there comes a part of the enormous underperformance we have seen.
The danger alarms are sounding, Newcastle are in dire straits, but their style of play has been one that has hampered Brighton all season long. They will create chances for sure, they always do, Bruce will look to limit that and hope Martin Dubravka can help his side out to earn a positive result.
Newcastle sit 16th in the xG standings compared to Brighton’s fifth and without a win in five are certainly the inferior team in this encounter. At the back it goes under the radar how good the hosts have been, conceding chances equating to 31.6 xG the third least in the division.
Robert Sanchez has received a deserved call up to the Spanish national team this week, considering the lacklustre frontline, defensive solidarity could pave the way for the Seagulls’ survival bid.
Not for me, though there must be a game around the corner where the goals fly in for the Seagulls, the low block is likely to ensure that is not this weekend.
- Brighton have scored in six of 10.
- Brighton have conceded in six of 10.
- Brighton have seen both teams score in four of 10.
- Brighton have seen over 2.5 goals in three of 10.
- Newcastle have scored in seven of 10.
- Newcastle have conceded in eight of 10.
- Newcastle have seen both teams score in six of 10.
- Newcastle have seen over 2.5 goals in four of 10.
Brighton vs Newcastle – Under 2.25 goals (10/11 Bet365)