Newcastle United’s Champions League rivals suffer major injury blow - could be out for season

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Newcastle United welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to St James’ Park in their penultimate home game of the season.

Brighton and Hove Albion could be without one of their key players for their upcoming visit to St James’ Park on Thursday, May 18.

Solly March was introduced as a half-time substitute during the Seagulls’ shock 5-1 home defeat to Everton on Monday but was pulled up in injury time.

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The 28-year-old’s misplaced pass allowed the Toffees to counter-attack. As he sprinted back, March clutched his hamstring before Dwight McNeil netted his second and his side’s fifth goal.

olly March is consoled Roberto De Zerbi, Manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, after the team's defeat in the penalty shoot out during the Emirates FA Cup Semi Final match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)olly March is consoled Roberto De Zerbi, Manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, after the team's defeat in the penalty shoot out during the Emirates FA Cup Semi Final match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
olly March is consoled Roberto De Zerbi, Manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, after the team's defeat in the penalty shoot out during the Emirates FA Cup Semi Final match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) | Getty Images

It is feared March, previously a transfer target for Newcastle United, could miss the rest of the campaign. Eddie Howe’s side welcome the FA Cup semi-finalists to Tyneside next week.

March has scored seven goals and provided seven assists in the Premier League this campaign. His impressive form earned the player a new three-year contract in March, which includes an optional one-year extension.

Albion are already without Joel Veltman (hamstring), Jakub Moder (ACL), Adam Lallana (hamstring), Tariq Lamptey (knee), and Jeremy Sarmiento (metatarsal).

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Brighton’s loss to Everton means Newcastle require seven points from their remaining four games to mathematically guarantee a first Champions League campaign since 2002-03.

Although Roberto De Zerbi’s men sit 7th in the Premier League table, their game in hand on Newcastle and Manchester United, and two over Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, makes it possible for them to reach the top four.

The Seagulls can reach a maximin of 70 points, while fifth place Liverpool can get 71 - compared to Newcastle’s 77.

Howe takes his side to Sam Allardyce’s Leeds United in Saturday’s early kick-off hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-0 loss to title-chasing Arsenal.

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