Brighton & Hove Albion vs Newcastle United: 3 Key Battles That Will Shape The Outcome

Brighton Hove Albion will lock horns with Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday, as both teams look to bounce back from their respective defeats last weekend.

The Seagulls were flying high following their big wins over Luton Town and Wolves but were brought back down to earth by West Ham United, with the Hammers beating Roberto de Zerbi’s side 3-1 at the Amex Stadium.

As for the Magpies, they opened their campaign with a sensational 5-1 annihilation of Aston Villa at home. However, since then, they’ve suffered back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool, and especially the manner of defeat to the 10-man Reds must have dealt a serious blow to their confidence.

With two exciting, attacking teams set to thrash it out for supremacy at the Amex Stadium, here are the key battles to watch out for.

#Matt Targett vs Solly March

Newcastle will be without Sven Botman for this weekend’s trip to Brighton after the centre-back was forced off with an ankle injury against Liverpool on Sunday. This means Eddie Howe will be forced to make changes to his backline and he could shift Dan Burn to central defence to replace the injured Botman, opening the door for Matt Targett to start at left-back.

Targett came off the bench to replace Botman against Liverpool, and on Saturday he will be up against the tricky Solly March. March has been among Brighton’s best players across the three games, netting three goals. He has raised his level and become one of the first names on De Zerbi’s team sheet.

So, this will be a battle to keep an eye on.

#Alexander Isak vs Lewis Dunk

Lewis Dunk has been a wall for Brighton under De Zerbi, winning his one-on-one duels and raising the overall quality of their defence. However, the Englishman and his fellow defenders were poor in Brighton’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham last weekend.

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Alexander Isak is the launchpad for Newcastle’s quick breaks, always on the move and playing on the shoulder of the last defender. With his pace and dynamism, the Swede will provide a new test for Dunk.

Liverpool did well to contain Isak at St James’ Park last weekend but he still got Virgil van Dijk sent off, demonstrating that he is hard to keep down indefinitely.

#Pascal Gross vs Bruno Guimaraes

Who will boss the midfield? Both Pascal Gross and Bruno Guimaraes are integral to how both teams operate.

Gross has been effective playing in a deeper midfield role, affecting the game in both boxes. He has an excellent passing range and an eye for goal, demonstrated by his wonderful consolation strike from distance in Brighton’s defeat to West Ham.

Guimaraes, on the other hand, is the beating heart of Howe’s Newcastle side. He has added energy, composure and tenacity to Newcastle’s midfield since arriving at the club last January.

So, it will be intriguing to watch who will make the biggest impact at the Amex Stadium.

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