Newcastle vs Brighton and Hove AlbionEnglish Premier League, KO: 17:30 Sep 21, 2019, St James' Park
IF Steve Bruce is to win over the Newcastle fans then this is a game he simply has to win.
Plenty of punters were far from happy when Bruce was plucked from Championship side Sheffield Wednesday as Rafa Benitez's successor.
And when Bruce began the season with back-to-back defeats against Arsenal and Norwich that ill-feeling only increased.
After that shambolic display in the 3-1 loss at Carrow Road it was a huge surprise when the Magpies boss then masterminded a battling 1-0 win at Spurs' shiny new stadium.
That boosted his standing among a doubtful support but Newcastle haven't won in three games since then, losing on penalties to Leicester in the League Cup then drawing 1-1 at home to struggling Watford and losing 3-1 at Liverpool in the Premier League.
It looked like a repeat of that shock win at Tottenham might be on the cards last weekend when Jetro Willems' stunning strike put the Magpies 1-0 up at Anfield.
That ruined my tip of a Liverpool win to nil but the Reds then turned on the style to bring up my other bet of a two-goal winning margin for Jurgen Klopp's side.
Newcastle dropped back into the bottom three when Aston Villa picked up a point on Monday so the pressure is on to make home advantage count when Brighton come calling.
The Seagulls only just avoided the drop last term after a poor second half to the season that eventually led to manager Chris Hughton being shown the door.
Swansea's Graham Potter was handed the task of succeeding him and has made a decent start on the south coast, picking up five points from their five league games.
That tally would have been seven had Jeff Hendrick not blasted home a late leveller for Burnley last weekend and Brighton's only defeats this term have come to Manchester City and Southampton.
The south coast derby loss only came after Florin Andone had been sent off in the first half so it looks like the Seagulls will be a tough team to beat under Potter.
His teams have always been entertaining and there have been two goals or over in every Brighton game so far this season. That makes me tend towards over 2.5 goals at 7/5 with Marathonbet for this one, even though Newcastle haven't been free-scoring.
Both teams to score is evens with the same firm and I'll also be sticking a few quid on that as neither side's defence has been totally convincing so far this season.
These teams look pretty evenly matched so if there's going to be a winner I think it might be just by a one-goal margin, which is 6/5 with Betway.
In the goalscorer markets, Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey catches the eye as he's as big as 7/1 with Paddy Power to net at any time. That looks great value given his long-range shooting prowess.
Neil Maupay looks a shrewd summer buy for Brighton and is probably their best bet for a goal, having netted twice since his move from Brentford. The Frenchman is 9/5 for anytime scorer with William Hill.
This English Premier League match between Newcastle and Brighton and Hove Albion will be played on Sep 21, 2019 and kick off at 17:30