Brighton vs Newcastle – Match preview and prediction

Championship side Brighton have the chance of causing a real upset when they host Premier League outfit Newcastle United at the Falmer Stadium.

Gus Poyet’s side managed to sneak past non-league Wrexham on penalties in a replay in the third round thanks to goalkeeper Peter Brezovan. The Czech goalkeeper is expected to resume his place in goal and will see Kazenga LuaLua return in midfield. The former Newcastle player has been out for three weeks with a hamstring problem, but is back in contention for a start in the FA Cup. Craig Noone is also close to return as well as midfielder Vicente, who could make his first appearance since October. Poyet had good success in the FA Cup with Chelsea and won the competition in 2000, beating Newcastle in the semi-final on the way and scoring twice. The Uruguayan will hope his Brighton side can cause an upset against Alan Pardew’s side.

Pardew is still without instrumental duo Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote as they are on international duty with Senegal and Ivory Coast respectively. Senegal have been eliminated, so Ba and new signing Papiss Demba Cisse will be back sooner than expected. Captain Fabricio Coloccini is a doubt for the Magpies with a groin injury and Pardew will assess him before making a decision. The Newcastle boss has insisted he will be sending a strong squad to the Falmer Stadium and goalkeeper Tim Krul has stated that he is hoping Newcastle can keep up their league and cup form. Newcastle beat Blackburn 2-1 in the third round of the FA Cup thanks to a wonderful solo goal from French winger Hatem Ben Arfa and an injury time strike from Jonas Gutierrez. Pardew will be looking for an easier time down on the South Coast, but is not underestimating the ability of the Championship side.

Brighton have a difficult task against Newcastle, despite the Magpies lack of firepower with the absent Demba Ba. Pardew is confident his side can get through against the Championship club and should do, but not without a fight from Poyet’s men.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Blackburn v Newcastle

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