NEWCASTLE host Brighton in Saturday's evening Premier League kick-off. Chris Clark (@ChrisClark1975) shares his verdict.
Newcastle v Brighton | Saturday 21st September 2019, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Let's be honest, the Saturday night live game on Sky Sports is not a cracker. It really doesn't appeal to your neutral viewer, but for both of these sides it's a key game.
When you're playing a relegation rival at home, you must beat them. However, Newcastle don't have a good record against Brighton in the Premier League at St James' Park. The Toon have lost twice and drawn twice in their four meetings. Can that poor run continue?
Well, Newcastle have had some tough matches in the Premier League already, having faced Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool…but when they did face bottom of the table Watford they only picked up a point at St James'. Meanwhile, Brighton on their travels, walloped Watford in the opening week, and then got a shellacking at the Etihad.
As you would expect with two sides in the bottom six of the table, shots on-target are low. Newcastle have 14, and Brighton 17. Interestingly, Brighton have only given up 17 on-target attempts at their own goal, and only Liverpool and Crystal Palace can better that in the Premier League.
So it's looking like a low-scoring affair at St James', and you've got to take into account Newcastle's poor record against the Seagulls, therefore a draw at 57/25 with Marathon looks good value.
Pass your way to profit?
One angle worth noting is the number of passes in the match. In fact Brighton are ninth in total in the Premier League for completed passes so far – testament to the style of play Graham Potter is trying to bring into the Seagulls this season, building possession slowly from the back, and then looking to spring into attack once the opportunity arises.
Lewis Dunk is currently 13th for total completed passes in the Premier League. Dunk is in fact one of only two players in the bottom half of the table who appear in the top 20.
Dunk so far has 313 completed passes across five Premier League games, that's an average of 62.5 per-game. Dunk is 10/11 with Skybet to have 65+ completed passes in Saturday's game. If you consider that Brighton's lowest's possession stats in a match so far are 46.5% and that was away to Man City, you would expect the defender to see plenty of the ball as Brighton build from the back.