The Toon Tribune: Why Brighton game is a must-win

Newcastle United welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to St James’ Park in their next Premier League fixture, with the game being eyed as a must-win considering their tough start to the campaign.

The Magpies have faced Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in their opening five matches and subsequently lay in 18th position in the table; despite some promising signs on the pitch. In addition, Newcastle are set to face both Manchester United and Chelsea next month, therefore there is added impetus for the club to secure as many points as possible within such an arduous block of matches.

Interestingly, there is history between the two clubs, with the Magpies and the Seagulls sharing a competitive and subtle rivalry which stemmed from the 2016/17 Championship season. The clubs were expansively battling it out at the top of the Championship, with the first position constantly switching between the two throughout the campaign. 

Ultimately it was Newcastle who won the war, pipping Brighton to the title in the dying seconds of the final match of the season after amazingly overturning a seven-point gap with three games remaining. The Magpies also had the upper hand on the pitch against the Seagulls, winning both of their games against them that season. 

However, since the clubs were promoted, United have failed to register a victory in four matches; with Brighton winning two along with two draws. 

There are some positives on the injury front for Newcastle, with defender DeAndre Yedlin and forward Andy Carroll both returning to full training this week. A possible return for the duo will boost the United squad, however it is yet to be confirmed whether they will be available for the fixture, with manager Steve Bruce recently stating the need to protect players rather than rush them back.