Brighton v Newcastle United early team news as five players ruled out and £75m doubt

Newcastle United are sweating over the fitness of Sven Botman and Joelinton ahead of tonight’s Premier League clash against Brighton and Hove Albion (kick-off 5:30pm).

The £75million pair were forced off during the Magpies’ late 2-1 defeat to 10-man Liverpool last Sunday and are doubts heading into the game at the Amex Stadium. Botman landed awkwardly on his ankle after challenging for a header, while Joelinton picked up a knee problem.

Neither player had trained prior to Eddie Howe’s pre-match press conference on Friday and the Magpies’ head coach revealed both will undergo a late fitness test.

Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton (middle) and defender Sven Botman (right). (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton (middle) and defender Sven Botman (right). (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“Sven’s had a scan and the scan doesn’t appear too good so there is definitely an injury there but actually it presents OK,” said Howe. “It’s not presenting too bad, it’s very bruised and a little swollen.

“He’s been very lightly jogging this week so we’ll see how he is today and make a decision before the weekend. Small chance [he’ll be involved v Brighton], yes.”

Asked about Joelinton, Howe added: “Again, another player we’re going to make a late decision on. He hasn’t trained this week, very similar to Sven has been doing some light jogging but is feeling better each day and we’ll make a late call.”

Newcastle remain without midfielder Joe Willock from the hamstring injury he sustained when the two sides met at St James’ Park in May. The former Arsenal man suffered a setback in pre-season but could resume training during the international break.

Emil Krafth could also resume full training having spent over 12 months on the sidelines recovering from an ACL problem.

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Meanwhile, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi revealed Danny Welbeck would miss the visit of Newcastle. He said: “Danny Welbeck can’t play. He’s not available. He has a muscular injury but it’s not so bad the situation.”

The Seagulls will also be without Julio Enciso for a number of months after the Paraguayan forward picked up a serious knee injury prior to the West Ham defeat Jakub Moder continues his absence from the side, having not been seen for 17 months due to an ACL problem.