Newcastle – the team
Newcastle were understandably everyone’s favourites to win the Championship at the start of the season. They have a squad packed with Premier League quality players, one of the most famous managers in the world who was won nearly every trophy going and a shed load of money. That they come to the Amex in second spot is a glowing testament to the miracles that Chris Hughton continues to pull off at the Albion. The Toon travel south with the best away record in the division while the Albion have the best home record in the division. They are the top scorers. We have the best defence. Got 0-0 written all over it, hasn’t it?
Newcastle – the place
Newcastle is one of those rare places where virtually everyone from the city supports the local team. There are two universities and it is a fantastic party city as anybody who has ever had the misfortune to be forced to watch Geordie Shore by their girlfriend will be able to tell you. In a touching tribute to Sydney, Newcastle opened it’s own version of the Sydney Harbour Bridge which is one of the cities most famous landmarks.
Newcastle – the people
The Toon Army are famous for watching games of football in minus conditions without any shirts on which is frankly bloody mad. The countries second most popular entertainment duo after the Chuckle Brothers are Ant and Dec who are famous Geordies while the city has also given the world the pop star Cheryl Cole (surname may no longer be accurate), Robert Stephenson who is largely considered to be the greatest inventor of the 19th century and chess grandmaster Horatio Caro. He invented the opening Caro-Kann Defence, a move that we ourselves have utilised in many games of chess down the years.
A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of Newcastle at home
Given that Newcastle have spent the last 20 years or so being good while Brighton have spent it being rubbish, this is their first league visit to the city in 25 years. We have met twice in the FA Cup however in back-to-back seasons, the best of those coming with a 1-0 win through a Mike Williamson own goal in the fourth round stage of the 2011/12 season.
A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of Newcastle at home
It’s fair to say that Newcastle enjoyed their games with the Albion in the 1961/62 season. After triumphing 5-0 at St James Park in October, they were 4-0 winners at the Goldstone Ground five months later. Bugger.
There are no Newcastle players with any links to the Albion although they did of course try and sign Anthony Knockaert in the summer. Thankfully, the Albion have belatedly realised that the best way to get promoted is not by selling your best players every year somebody makes a bid for them and he remains at the Amex.
It looks as though the divisions top scorer Dwight Gayle will miss this game with a hamstring injury, leaving the Rafa the Gaffer the problem of only being able to call upon one of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Daryl Murphy or Ayoze Perez as his replacement. Jonjo Shelvey is arguably the best midfielder in the division and certainly the most racist while Matt Ritchie was a stand out performer in the Premier League last season for Bournemouth – something he celebrated by dropping down a division to move to Newcastle. He always seems to play well against us as well so expect good stuff from him.
It’s not like us to sit on the fence when it comes to a big game against a promotion rival and so we are backing the draw at 9/4. Both teams will no doubt be attempting to win the game and that has so far this season led to a corner fest. You can take there to be over 10.5 corners at 11/10.