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Premier League preview: Brighton vs Chelsea, Man Utd vs Newcastle

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Premier League preview: Brighton vs Chelsea, Man Utd vs Newcastle

Premier League preview: Brighton vs Chelsea, Man Utd vs Newcastle

Brighton vs Chelsea

Brighton are playing for little more than professional pride here; Chelsea could yet move ahead of Newcastle in the race for European football next season.

Has Pochettino found a way to get his team to produce the goods on the road, as well as at home? The Blues beat Forest at the weekend despite going 2-1 down in the 74th minute; that kind of setback might have done for Chelsea earlier in the season.

In fact, Chelsea have lost just one of their last 13 league games, the infamous Arsenal defeat when Cole Palmer was absent. That shocking 5-0 defeat shouldn’t detract from the fact that the side have made strides forward in 2024.

Meanwhile, Brighton have regressed in recent months; at the end of the previous season, the Seagulls finished sixth in the Prem. They’re currently 10th, and if injury problems have wreaked havoc with Roberto de Zerbi’s aims for this campaign, does that absolve the manager of all responsibility for a run of two wins in 11 league games?

Brighton did at least win their last home game, a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa. De Zerbi’s side also earned a point away to Newcastle in a 1-1 draw at the weekend.

But with the Seagulls left with little to play for, Chelsea may take all three points at the Amex. They’ve already beaten Brighton twice this season, winning the reverse fixture 3-2 in December, having knocked them out of the League Cup before that.

Cole Palmer is undoubtedly the star of this Chelsea side. But Nicolas Jackson has also caught the attention in recent weeks, with the Senegalese striker scoring four goals in his last three matches. Jackson is 7/5 to find the net, while Chelsea are evens to win the game. Both look reasonable possibilities.

Man Utd vs Newcastle

It never rains but it pours; the downfall cascading through a hole in the Old Trafford roof on Sunday neatly illustrated the dilapidated state of the one-time Theatre of Dreams.

And United themselves seem to be in a similarly knackered state. At the weekend, Erik ten Hag’s side saw out a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.

With the Gunners having previously won just once in their last 16 visits, it was a result that handily illustrated United’s sagging standards.

So after two straight losses, can Man Utd sign off on their home ground for the season with a committed performance against Newcastle on Wednesday night?

Both Man Utd and the Magpies could still potentially earn a place in European competition next season. Yet neither side are exactly seeing out the season in rip-roaring fashion, with Newcastle having to settle for a 1-1 draw against Brighton last weekend.

To be fair, maybe that was a one-off for Eddie Howe’s side, who’d won four of their last five matches prior to that. The Manchester side are in considerably poorer form, having won only one of their last eight league games. And that against rock bottom club Sheffield United.

Newcastle have also beaten Erik ten Hag’s side twice already this season. That includes a 1-0 win at St James’ Park in the league, and a 3-0 win in the League Cup at Old Trafford back in November.

In fact, the Mags have won their last three meetings with the Red Devils. United have failed to score a single goal in that run, too.

All of which adds to the sense that the visitors may be able to get the better of a Man United team missing key players – and seemingly short on morale.

That said, Newcastle may also be missing Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson too. Both have been sick in the run up to this one. If Isak is fit to play, he could still be worth backing to find the net here at 11/10; he has eight goals in his last eight games.

If Isak’s out though, maybe this one could end up being a little drab; Man United have only scored once in their last three games, after all, while they restricted the Gunners to one goal at the weekend. Under 3.5 goals is a 19/20 shot.

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