Newcastle United vs Brighton & Hove Albion Preview: Hughton aiming for positive result against former employers

Newcastle United vs Brighton & Hove Albion Preview: Hughton aiming for positive result against former employers

Brighton & Hove Albion travel to St. James' Park to face a Newcastle United side that is edging closer to the relegation battle

Ninad Barbadikar

Brighton & Hove Albion travel to Tyneside to face Newcastle United in a game that could boost the winning team's bid to stay in the Premier League this season.

The Seagulls have been impressive thus far under the experienced Chris Hughton, sitting at an impressive 12th place in the league standings. Three places below them are Rafael Benítez's side who are in a bit of a slump at the moment and are looking to improve their league standing against the visitors.

Brighton will be confident going into the game after winning the reverse fixture 1-0 at the AMEX Stadium earlier in the season, thanks to a second-half goal from Tomer Hemed.

Benítez's Magpies in concerning situation

After winning just one out of their past six games, it is fair to say that Benítez's team is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their early season form which saw them stay in the top four for a considerable amount of time.

Ahead of the game at home, Benítez has a few injury troubles to deal with. At the back, Florian Lejeune seems to be a doubt for selection while the same can be said for young midfielder Isaac Hayden. However, both players are expected to make the bench for the hosts.

Forward Aleksandar Mitrović is expected to miss the game with a back problem.



Hughton should be positive ahead of Tyneside return

As for Brighton, veteran midfielder Steve Sidwell is the only concern for Hughton and he will contend with a full squad to pick from, as he hopes for a positive result against the first club that gave him the opportunity to manage on a permanent basis. 

In terms of recent results, things aren't looking too great for the Seagulls either, however, with one draw and one victory in their last six games in the league, Hughton will be looking to bring back the winning factor against the Magpies.

Brighton have been a difficult side to beat this term and are rarely swept away in any given game. The same can be said for Newcastle as well, so it should be interesting to see how both managers set up for the game.

Hughton is expected to welcome back a host of attackers into his team including Pascal Groß, who has been a sensation for the Seagulls since his transfer from FC Ingolstadt 04 in the summer.



Brighton will look to continue positive history against the Magpies

Historically, Brighton have been solid against Newcastle in their previous clashes - with the majority coming in the Championship.

The Seagulls have won three out of the past five meetings between the two clubs, including the 1-0 victory at the AMEX earlier in the season. With no draws in those games, an entertaining clash is to be expected at St. James' Park.

Three points for Brighton could help them in their contention for a mid-table spot or even higher this season. As for Newcastle, three points would be a morale boost as well as an improvement in their league standing as well.