The Brighton Line
The cup has thrown us together again, how did Brighton fans react when the draw was made?
I think any Football League team is delighted when a Premier League club comes to town in the cup and given our two teams’ colourful history in the competition, this is no exception! Newcastle always bring an excellent away following and alongside a probable sell-out capacity crowd, there should be a cracking atmosphere.
Looking from the other end of the country, what do you make of Newcastle’s situation this season?
Your club is in a difficult position, that’s for sure. I think it’s easy to blame the Europa League and fixture congestion but it just seems that Mike Ashley didn’t add to the squad when he really needed to last summer.
Newcastle have seemed unlucky with injuries and the club’s paying the price for not investing. Yohan Cabaye is a huge miss – probably one of the top flight’s best midfielders on his day.
January seems like a crucial period of the season for you and hopefully you can put the Demba Ba cash to good use – another striker looks like a necessity.
I’ve already mentioned your need for a striker but unfortunately, I don’t think the Albion duo of Craig Mackail-Smith or Ashley Barnes could do much for you in the long run!
The Magpies do look a touch shallow at the back too, so I’d say our young centre back Lewis Dunk could be a smart acquisition – there’s been talk of him joining Spurs for the past 18 months.
In midfield, Liam Bridcutt is a skilful holding player who learnt his trade from Claude Makelele at Chelsea. He’s an outstanding young player who’s a readymade Premier League performer.
Looking at the odds (with BetVictor) I see they make Brighton slight favourites at 13/8 and Newcastle 7/4, where do you think the value for money is?
Brighton have been really struggling for goals at home all season and lost our last outing at the Amex 3-1 to a young Watford side, so I wouldn’t say our fans are wholly bullish about the prospect of another cup upset – despite a good win at Ipswich in midweek.
Alan Pardew has kept his cards close to his chest before this game but even if he does go with a weaker side, I’d imagine your youngsters have enough in their locker to give us a good game – Sammy Ameobi looked particularly tricky when he came on against Everton.
As is standard fare at the Amex, I expect Brighton to control the pace of the game but struggle to turn possession into goals. I’d happily take a draw and a midweek night out in the North East!
Is it true Brighton have attempted to bring Trelford Mills out of retirement?
Ha! The 1983 cup tie is a touch before my time but I’ve heard a lot about it this week! If a couple of ‘questionable’ refereeing decisions mean a Brighton win and a cup run all the way through to the final, few of us will complain! That said, both teams need a touch of luck at the minute…
On a scale of 1 to 100 how unsurprised were you that they snapped the match up for TV?
70. I was more surprised that they scheduled the game for midday when Newcastle fans have to make a marathon journey! This does have the potential to be a good, competitive match though and I’m hopeful both sets of fans will create plenty of noise for the cameras.
Gus Poyet has said this week that he’ll be fielding a strong team but our squad is quite deep in midfield, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few fresh faces there.
A young player of ours, Jake Forster-Caskey, has just returned from a successful loan spell at Oxford and I’d like to see him get a run out – I’m expecting a healthy mix of our first choice 11 with some fringe players who are fired up for a chance in the limelight.
Unfortunately, automatic promotion seems a bridge too far this year but the play-offs remain a realistic aim.
A morale-boosting victory here could kickstart our league campaign.
You are welcome to follow me on Twitter @CoreyPellatt
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]