Michael Owen with depressing prediction for Newcastle v Brighton
Michael Owen has been looking ahead to Saturday’s game at St James Park.
The former NUFC employee taking a brief break from slagging off Newcastle United and the fans, especially Alan Shearer, in an increasingly grubby attempt to sell a few books.
Brighton have scored one goal more than Newcastle and are also a point ahead of the Magpies, if anybody wins on Saturday then it could be a big result in the relegation battle even at this early stage.
Rather than predicting a result, Michael Owen has instead forecast a less than exciting game that will feature no more than one goal at the most.
Outside of the relegated clubs, last season Newcastle (42) and Brighton (35) were the lowest scorers in the Premier League.
However, Michael Owen may be doing Brighton a big disservice in suggesting they may not have much adventure and/or goals in them.
Chris Hughton had Brighton set out in a very negative way last season but new boss Graham Potter has been the opposite.
In their six games (including their League Cup win) Brighton have averaged 56% possession (all stats via BBC Sport) and have had more possession in all but one game, which was away at Manchester City when they still had an impressive 46%. The eventual scoreline was 4-0 but Potter’s side created a decent number of chances only for luck not to be with them.
Apart from the defeat at Man City, the only other one was at home to Southampton and they had to play the final hour with 10 men after a sending off.
In the other three matches Brighton won 3-0 at Watford, drew 1-1 at home to West Ham despite dominating (16 shots to the Hammers 8), then last week were even more on top against Burnley but threw away two points when Burnley scored with their only shot on target in added time, for a 1-1 draw.
In contrast to Brighton, Steve Bruce has set Newcastle up even more negatively than Rafa Benitez, in their six games Newcastle average only 33% possession, compared to Brighton’s 56% average. Under Bruce, Newcastle have also struggled to create
I would actually forecast a likely very good game with goals on Saturday.
Brighton will probably get what they want in terms of dominating possession and that will suit Newcastle who look most dangerous on the counter-attack and will get space to play in if Brighton are pressing forward.
The question is just who will create most chances and most importantly, take them.
In their combined 10 Premier League games this season there have been 25 goals, an average of 2.5 goals per game, so the Michael Owen prediction of one or zero goals looks unlikely.
In terms of confidence though, you feel that Newcastle have to score first.
Michael Owen speaking to Betvictor:
“Newcastle were eventually well beaten at Anfield on Saturday, but Steve Bruce will have taken several positives from the game.
“Although they continue to struggle to create opportunities.
“I don’t expect to see many goals or chances when Brighton – who have only scored twice in the league since the opening day of the season – visit St James’ Park in what is likely to be a tight, tense, close affair.
“Tip: Under 1.5 goals 9/5.”
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