Shock as Eddie Howe drops in-form star: Newcastle United predicted starting XI v Brighton

Newcastle United’s predicted starting XI to face Brighton and Hove Albion at St James’ Park tonight (kick 7:30pm).

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Newcastle United welcome Brighton to St James’ Park in their penultimate home game of the 2022-23 Premier League season.

Excluding the Carabao Cup final, there’s a strong argument to say this is the Magpies’ biggest game so far because of what’s at stake.

Eddie Howe’s side, who sit in the Champions League qualification spots, are just one point ahead of fifth-place Liverpool following the Reds’ seventh straight win at Leicester City on Monday night.

The visit of Roberto De Zerbi’s side is United’s game in hand, and victory tonight would mean they’d need just three points from remaining games against Leicester City and Chelsea to end their 20-year absence from Europe’s elite.

It’s vital Howe gets his team selection right against a dangerous opponent - and NewcastleWorld is predicting the 45-year-old to make one controversial change.

That change is Allan Saint-Maximin in for top scorer Callum Wilson, which frees up Alexander Isak to play as the central striker after looking less effective as a left forward against Arsenal and Leeds.

Asked about Wilson and Isak during his pre-match press conference, Howe said: We’re not playing them together. They’re in the same team but there not a strike partnership as such, although at Leeds they were for a period of time when we changed it.

“It’s funny because the Arsenal game was so close to scoring, not just once but four or five times so I don’t think there was anything wrong with the structure of the team or personnel.

“Leeds, I don’t think we were as good in our performance but scored two goals from penalties. Certainly, there’s a bit of work [to do] from that game.”

Here’s our predicted XI full:

GK: Nick Pope

RB: Kieran Trippier

CB: Fabian Schar

CB: Sven Botman

LB: Dan Burn

CM: Bruno Guimaraes

CM: Joelinton

CM: Joe Willock

RW: Miguel Almiron

LW: Allan Saint-Maximin (in Callum Wilson)

ST: Alexander Isak

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