Almost a year since beating the Magpies at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton have the chance to provide another FA Cup upset against the same opponents although it would hardly represent a giant-killing if the Seagulls did indeed win this encounter.
A Mike Williamson own goal separated the two teams eleven months ago and Gus Poyet’s team couldn’t be playing Newcastle at a better time, with the Premier League side suffering from the loss of Demba Ba to Chelsea and also some miserable form which has seen them slipped to the verge of the relegation zone.
While the FA Cup provides momentary escapism for Alan Pardew, this competition simply isn’t a priority right now for a manager under pressure after United relinquished the lead to lose 2-1 at home to Everton on Wednesday.
The bookies go as big as 7/4 (Paddy Power) about the Tyneside team delighting their loyal supporters with three points from this encounter, with Papiss Cisse hoping to score as many during the second half of this season as he did twelve months ago.
The Senegal star might be angling himself for a move in the summer although odds of 6/1 are on offer that he breaks the deadlock in this game, with Sammy Ameobi, Shane Ferguson and Sammy Ameobi also in line to feature.
It points to a difficult afternoon for Newcastle who are facing a case of “after the Lord Mayor’s Show” following a successful 2011/12 campaign, with Brighton available at just 7/4 to beat their opponents for the second successive season.
Albion have enjoyed a topsy-turvy time of things since August, having briefly led the Championship before dropping to mid-table although a five-match winless run ended on New Year’s Day when the Seagulls won 3-0 at Ipswich.
Craig Mackail-Smith is a 6/1 chance with BetVictor to score the first goal and the Scot has enjoyed a healthy return of 11 goals this term, with three or more goals being scored in each of Brighton’s last three games.
Bet365 offer 17/20 that there are Over 2.5 Goals in this encounter, although it could be a cagey encounter as per last season and Brighton will also place greater priority on getting promotion from the Championship even if an FA Cup win could generate extra income.
Another 1-0 win in favour of the south coast team can be backed at 19/2 and that looks a treat of a price, with 2-1 on offer at 10/1.