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At least Paul Merson is right about one thing when talking about Brighton v Newcastle

3 months ago
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Paul Merson has been previewing Brighton v Newcastle.

Newcastle fans quickly selling out the full away allocation, despite this being the seventh away match of 2019 to be moved for live TV purpose.

Eight Premier League games away since December and only Bournemouth was 3pm on a Saturday.

Friday night, Saturday lunch, Saturday teatime, Monday night…we’ve had it all.

Not surprisingly, most of the focus on the actual game is about Brighton.

Paul Merson saying the whole approach to this game for Chris Hughton, is likely to depend on what happens in Fulham v Cardiff. I can’t disagree with him on this one.

If Cardiff pull off an away win in that 3pm kick-off, Brighton will only be ahead of them on goal difference (unless Warnock’s team win by 13 or more…).

The Seagulls will be nervous enough anyway, not having scored for seven weeks in the Premier League and picking up only one point in the process, whilst they have played 646 minutes of football (all competitions) since that last PL goal, when they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 away from home.

Paul Merson declares: ‘If Newcastle play like they did against Leicester and Southampton, Brighton won’t get much out of the game and it’ll be tough.’

However, he gives no mention to the absence today of Almiron (hamstring) and Lascelles (illness) and how that might impact on NUFC.

The captain is a loss but with Fernandez the ideal replacement, maybe not crucial. However, Almiron has helped Newcastle change the way they play going forward and all eyes on whether they can make do without his pace and direct running that has unsettled teams.

By the same token, in the games directly before Almiron stepped out in black and white, Newcastle had beaten Cardiff 3-0, Man City 2-1, unlucky to lose late on 1-0 at Spurs, whilst NUFC were leading at Wolves when the Paraguayan was subbed on.

Paul Merson predicts a 1-1 win in a game where Newcastle fans will take a more relaxed keen interest, whilst Brighton fans will be fearing a continuation of this disastrous run.

Paul Merson speaking to Sky Sports:

“This all depends on the Cardiff game.

“If Cardiff get beat against Fulham, a point will do for Brighton and that’ll be enough.

“Cardiff would have to win at Manchester United after that.

“For me, it’s hard to call because it all depends on that Cardiff game, because Brighton need to win if Cardiff do.

“They might still shut up shop, get a point and be happy.

“The problem is Newcastle play a certain way, show they’re hard to beat from the start and always nick chances.

“If Newcastle play like they did against Leicester and Southampton, Brighton won’t get much out of the game and it’ll be tough.

“Prediction is Brighton 1 Newcastle 1.”

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