Talk about a must win! After a tough start and four straight defeats at home, the season really starts now for Newcastle as they welcome the worst away team in the league from last year and one that’s won just a point away from the south coast so far this season.
Chances for three home points do not come much better than this for Rafa Benitez’s side, and with the international break to plan he’s had chance to put down a blueprint for a win that could kick-start their season.
Chris Hughton’s side have looked good in spells and will be set out to frustrate the home team, and home crowd. Defeat here and the pressure ramps up another notch on troubled Tyneside but they should be capable of avoiding it.
Brighton are winless in their last 17 Premier League away games (D5 L12), scoring just seven goals in that run. It’s their longest run without a win on the road in league competition since September 1997 (18 games).
Newcastle have lost all four of their Premier League home games this season – only three teams in English top-flight history have ever lost their first five (Man Utd 1930-31, Portsmouth in 2009-10 and Bolton in 2011-12).
Brighton manager Chris Hughton is yet to win at St. James’ Park as an away manager against his former club in four attempts (P4 W0 D1 L3), with all matches coming in league competition.
Only Eden Hazard (7) has scored more Premier League goals this season than Brighton’s Glenn Murray (5). However, just one of Murray’s strikes has come away from home.
Rafael Benitez has lost 11 of his 28 home Premier League games as Newcastle manager – one more than he’d lost in 127 home games at Liverpool and Chelsea combined (W86 D31 L10).