Pick Newcastle for Crucial Win

  • Newcastle v Brighton
  • Saturday May 18th 2023, 14:30 ET
  • At St James’ Park

Newcastle has dropped four points in its last two games but it has an opportunity to get back on track and earn a crucial win against top-seven rivals Brighton on Thursday.

Who do Bettors Favor?

As we can see by checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks bettors favor Newcastle to win this one on its home patch. Newcastle is rated as a -102 favorite here while the visiting team, Brighton is priced at between +245 and +265 and the draw is available at up to +291.

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Newcastle with Work to Do

Newcastle was looking good after three Premier League wins in a row, but a 2-0 loss to Arsenal and a 2-2 draw with Leeds has hit its European qualification chances and opened up the possibility that it might not finish in the top four, which would be a blow after such a strong season.

Yet, although it has work to do, Eddie Howe’s team still has its destiny in its own hands. The club is third in the Premier League, level on points with Manchester United, though with a far superior goal difference, and a game in hand. The bigger danger, however, could be Liverpool, which won again on Monday night to move to 65 points, only one behind the Magpies.

Newcastle’s defensive record is equal to Premier League leaders Manchester City, but it has scored 30 goals fewer, which is a clear indication of where this team’s strengths lie. Still, Howe will be concerned that it has returned only one clean sheet in its last 15 league games. The return to St James’ Park should help. Newcastle has lost only two games at home all season: against Arsenal and Liverpool.

Unpredictable Brighton Still Chasing

Its last four games have provided a perfect illustration of the unpredictability of this Brighton team. Roberto De Zerbi’s players thrashed Wolves 6-0 at the Falmer Stadium and followed that up with a solid win over Manchester United, but then lost 5-1 at home to relegation-threatened Everton. Then, last weekend, the Brighton rollercoaster delivered another surprise result with a 3-0 win at Arsenal.

The result of that run is that Brighton remains in contention for a European qualification spot but is seven points behind Liverpool in fifth place. Having two games in hand on the Reds and one on most of the other top-six teams will help, but a victory here is surely essential.

Fortunately for De Zerbi, his team has shown it can earn impressive results on the road. As well as the win against Arsenal, there has been a string of away victories this season, although mixed in with some surprise defeats, and a little more defensive solidity could help turn good performances into points.

EPL Betting Head-to-Head

This is a rivalry that goes all the way back to 1930 when Newcastle beat Brighton 3-0 in the FA Cup, but as the two teams have often been in different divisions, it hasn’t been played as often as you’d think.

After that 1930 game, Newcastle didn’t play Brighton until 1961 and the two teams met only twice in the 1960s and twice in the 1970s, though the rivalry has become more frequent over the last six years as both teams have spent most of that time in the Premier League.

The head-to-head record shows that Brighton has the edge, with 12 wins to Newcastle’s 10 and there have been nine draws. That record has turned in Brighton’s favor largely thanks to a run of 10 games unbeaten in the last 11, although their last meeting, in Brighton in August, ended in a 0-0 draw.

EPL Betting Team News

Sean Longstaff has missed two games with a foot injury for Newcastle and it is not clear whether he will be fit to return to action before the end of the season. For Eddie Howe, the team news also worsened at the weekend as Matt Ritchie picked up a knee injury against Leeds that has ended his season.

His name is added to an injury list that includes Jamal Lascelles and Emil Krafth, who are both out for the rest of the campaign, while Ryan Fraser has been relegated to train with the Under-21s.

For Brighton, the situation is much worse. There are currently seven first-team players on the sidelines, including long-term absentees Tariq Lamptey, Jeremy Sarmiento, and Jakub Moder. Solly March and Adam Lallana are both missing with thigh injuries, though may return before the end of the season, along with Adam Webster, and Joel Veltman could be fit for this one.

EPL Match Betting Pick

Newcastle and Brighton are two of the better teams in the Premier League and this is likely to be a fascinating clash of styles. With a lot at stake, it might be reasonable to opt for the draw here, but Brighton’s attacking style generally means more goals than average and that reduces the draw prospects. A cautious wager on Newcastle here looks the best option in the match batting market.

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Noelle Matthews

Noelle Matthews is a tennis and soccer fan who has been working in the betting industry for over 15 years and has written for some of the big players in the sector, including Betfair, ESPN and Sporting Life. She has an in-depth knowledge of both tennis and soccer betting and you can trust her reviews to include the most precise, knowledgeable information available.