Albion aiming for big points haul over New Year weekend

Brighton celebrate the only goal in their home win against Newcastle in September. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Brighton celebrate the only goal in their home win against Newcastle in September. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton will be looking to make the most of their opponent’s poor Premier League form when they take on Newcastle and Bournemouth in the next three days.

Chris Hughton will hope his side can head into 2018 on a high when they make their longest trip of the season to face a Newcastle side in dire straits.

Rafael Benitez’s side picked up a much-needed win over West Ham last weekend, however that victory is the only one they have managed in their last 11 games. With owner Mike Ashley looking to sell the North East outfit, their fans could endure a frustrating January transfer window lacking the new signings needed to aid their fight against relegation.

Looking ahead to the game, Hughton said: “Newcastle are a team that we know very well, having already played them once this season, and twice last season.

“We know they have a lot of quality, and even though they haven’t had the best of times of late, we know they can be a fairly formidable team on a good day.

“They showed that earlier in the season and have enough quality to make them very dangerous opponents.”

Two days later the Seagulls will begin the New Year back at the Amex against a Bournemouth side struggling at the wrong end of the league in their third top flight season.

The Cherries are without a win in their last nine games and have dropped into the bottom three in recent weeks. With veteran striker Jermain Defoe facing at least two months out through injury, they will be relying on top-scorer Callum Wilson to turn their fortunes around.

It was a case if mixed results when Albion last met both sides back in September.

An inspired performance from sub Jordan Ibe saw Bournemouth come from behind to win 2-1 at Dean Court, along with knocking Albion out of the League Cup three days later. A solitary Tomer Hemed goal sealed Brighton’s second win in the Premier League at home to the Magpies.