BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson has once again been giving his Premier League predictions ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, and he believes Newcastle United’s three-match winning streak will come to an end when they face fellow newly-promoted side Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Sunday.
The Magpies recovered from successive defeats and no goals in their opening two top flight matches of the season by recording victories against West Ham United, Swansea City and then Stoke City at St James’ Park last weekend, but Lawrenson doesn’t think they will take any points with them back to Tyneside.
While Rafa Benitez’s men lie in fourth in the standings, the Seagulls are down in 16th having taken just four points from their opening five encounters, although they did beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 on the south coast in their previous home match.
The Toon Army will certainly be full of confidence themselves with the likes of Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie in brilliant form right now, as they look to pick up four successive Premier League wins for the first time since November 2014.
Speaking ahead of the clash, Lawrenson said: “The Magpies’ run of form, with three straight wins, would suggest they are going to do same when they return to the south coast on Sunday, but I am actually backing Brighton here.
“I hate the phrase ‘must-win’, especially at this stage, but Hughton will know this is a game that his side really need to get something out of if they are going to stay in the top flight.”
Newcastle won 1-0 when these two teams met at the Amex Stadium in February, and it proved to be a vital result as the Magpies finished one point ahead of Brighton to lift the Championship trophy.