Newcastle United travel to The Amex Stadium on Saturday to face Brighton Hove Albion in the 5.30pm kick off in what will be Graeme Jones' final game as Interim Head Coach with new Magpies Manager Eddie Howe reportedly waiting in the wings to take charge of the club after agreeing a two and half year contract to lead the club into its new era.
Newcastle are currently 19th in the Premier League with four points from the opening ten games of the season after a 3-0 loss at St James' Park to Chelsea last week while Brighton are currently 8th with 16 points after a 2-2 draw with Liverpool but now haven't won in five games after a blistering start to the season with four wins in the first five.
Last season, Graham Potter's men did a Premier League double over Newcastle winning comprehensively 3-0 at both St James' Park and at The Amex Stadium outclassing the black and whites in both games proving a bogey side to a Newcastle squad that finished four points and four places higher in the final Premier League table for 2020/21 as Steve Bruce's men finished 12th with 45 points & The Seagulls 16th with 41 points.
Yet the season is 38 games long not 10 and Newcastle United are more than capable of overhauling that 12 point and 11 place gap between the sides currently especially with the first injection of cash for new players from the Saudi billions in January as well as a new manager bounce with Howe's arrival that could propel Newcastle up the table.
In Graham Potter's pre-match presser, he paid tribute to both incoming Newcastle manager Eddie Howe and interim Head Coach Graeme Jones, both of whom he knows well but stressed his focus has been on the upcoming opponents on the field in black and white not the managerial intrigue that saw Unai Emery turn the job down.
After revealing that apart from Geordie left-back Dan Burn who is a doubt for the match against his boyhood club, his squad has no new injury concerns yet Potter seems acutely aware that Newcastle lie in somewhat of a false position in the Premier League table after 10 matches played and is expecting a tough game against The Magpies, who are capable of beating almost anybody if they can find their confidence and form.
In Graeme Jones's presser at Newcastle early on Friday afternoon, the Geordie Interim Head Coach confirmed that he would be taking Saturday's match at Brighton as expected having trained the team all week and that the team are ready:
before revealing the entire Newcastle squad is fit with the exception of Paul Dummett:
Jones spoke cautiously about the strongly-rumoured imminent arrival of Eddie Howe as Manager and would surely love to sign off his term as Interim Manager with a victory after a draw at Crystal Palace and defeat by Chelsea.
Prediction - Newcastle 2 Brighton 1
Potential Line-Ups -