With Premier League safety confirmed, Newcastle head to Brighton under no pressure.

That is quite a contrast to their opponents, who could be level with 18th placed Cardiff City come kick off.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

The Magpies have enjoyed a good couple of weeks on the pitch, beating Leicester and Southampton to surpass the magic 40 points mark.

But along the way we’ve lost some players, so there will be at least two changes for the trip to the Amex.

Lascelles out, Fernandez in

Ahead of the game, Rafa Benitez confirmed that Jamaal Lascelles will miss the game due to a stomach illness.

That opens the door for Federico Fernandez, who got some minutes off the bench against Southampton. Fernandez is the perfect replacement at the heart of the defence and will be looking to recapture his early season form.

(Photo by Steven Hadlow/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The captain’s armband will go to Paul Dummett, who will continue as left centre-back. The third centre-back should be Fabian Schar, who is expected to be fit despite coming off in the 3-1 win over Southampton.

There shouldn’t be any other changes at the back. Matt Ritchie was impressive again last time, while Javi Manquillo did nothing wrong to suggest that DeAndre Yedlin should be recalled.

Who replaces Almiron against Brighton?

The low point of our win against Southampton was the injury picked up by Miguel Almiron.

The Paraguayan has been ruled out for the rest of the season, which is a real blow. Almiron has had a huge impact on Tyneside and fans will be buzzing to see more of him next season.

But his injury hands an opportunity to someone else, most likely Christian Atsu. The Ghanaian replaced Almiron last time out and should return to the starting XI. Atsu was a regular on the left for Newcastle until Almiron’s arrival.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

A lot of fans want Yoshinori Muto to get a chance, but it would be a surprise if Benitez picks the Japan international over Atsu.

Ayoze Perez will hope to continue his hot streak, having scored four times in his last two games.

Predicted lineup to face Brighton: Dubravka; Schar, Fernandez, Dummett; Manquillo, Hayden, Ki, Ritchie; Perez, Atsu, Rondon.

Related Topics