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Newcastle’s hopes of Premier League survival have been handed an enormous boost after a positive run of form, in which they have accumulated 14 points from their last six games, has seen them catapult from the foot of the table to 14th place, four points above the relegation zone.
Only Liverpool (18) have picked up more points in the last six top-flight matches than the Magpies, who seem to have been given a new lease of life under head coach Eddie Howe.
A 1-1 draw away at West Ham United ended a three-game winning streak, but they bounced back with a 2-0 success away against 10-man Brentford last weekend. Josh Dasilva‘s 11th-minute dismissal put the visitors in control and two first-half goals from in-form midfield duo Joelinton and Joe Willock helped secure just their fifth league win of the campaign.
Victories, however, have been hard to come by when locking horns with Brighton; Newcastle have not won any of their nine Premier League meetings against the Seagulls, their worst run against any team in the division.
The Magpies have also failed to score in any of their last four home games against Brighton, but having found the net in 20 of their 25 league matches this season, including a strike in the 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium earlier this season, Howe’s side will be confident of breaching their backline and securing three more precious points on Saturday.
Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin, who has missed the last two matches with a knock, is doubtful and will be assessed ahead of kickoff. Jacob Murphy is set to continue on the right flank if the Frenchman is not involved.
The Magpies will, however, be without Kieran Trippier (metatarsal fracture), Callum Wilson (calf), Jamal Lewis (groin), Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden (both knee) due to injury.
Former Brighton defender Dan Burn, who left the Seagulls in January, is set to start again at centre-back alongside Fabian Schar, with Jamaal Lascelles forced to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench.
Howe is yet to hand big-money signing Bruno Guimaraes his full Premier League debut, with Joelinton, Willock and Jonjo Shelvey all preferred at present to start in centre-midfield.
As for Brighton, Potter has revealed that centre-back Adam Webster is unlikely to feature at St James’ Park as he continues to recover from a groin injury.
The Seagulls will also be without Enock Mwepu and Jeremy Sarmiento due to hamstring problems, but Adam Lallana could be in contention to return to the matchday squad.
Should Potter stick with a back three, Marc Cucurella will likely remain as the left-sided centre-back next to Lewis Dunk and Joel Veltman; however, the former could return to left-back if the visitors line up with a four-man defence, with Solly March potentially dropping out as a result for an extra midfielder.
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Neal Maupay, who is just one goal away from surpassing Glenn Murray (26) as Brighton’s all-time record goalscorer in the Premier League, is expected to lead the line up front alongside Leandro Trossard, who scored a penalty against Newcastle in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett; Willock, Shelvey, Joelinton; Murphy, Wood, Fraser
Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Cucurella; Lampety, Moder, Bissouma, Mac Allister, March; Trossard, Maupay