Alexis Mac Allister absence explained as Liverpool transfer target misses Brighton starting XI at Newcastle
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The Argentine World Cup winner is widely tipped to leave Brighton this summer with Liverpool favourites to land the £70m rated ace. Mac Allister impressed in the heart of the midfield during Brighton’s superb 3-0 win at Arsenal last Sunday. It was a high intensity and bruising battle in the midfield and Mac Allister was on the receiving end of a few hefty blows. He looked jaded towards the end at the Emirates and it appears the match at Newcastle arrived just too soon for the 25-year-old. His countryman Facundo Buonanotte is promoted to the starting XI and the teenager will likely take Mac Allister’s No 10 role at St James’ Park, as sixth placed Brighton continue their quest for European qualification. Billy Gilmour retains his place in the midfield and will likely play alongside the experienced Pascal Gross with Caicedo likely to feature at right back once more.
Julio Enciso and Evan Ferguson – both started at Arsenal – dropped to the bench with Deniz Undav and Danny Welbeck in from the start. Levi Colwill, who was excellent at Arsenal, is also an unexplained absentee, with defender Jan Paul van Hecke getting a rare start at Newcastle. No2 goalkeeper Robert Sanchez is again missing from the squad after a fall-out with head coach Roberto De Zerbi.
BHAFC XI: Steele; Gross, Dunk, Van Hecke, Estupinan; Caicedo, Gilmour; Undav, Buonanotte, Mitoma; Welbeck. Subs: McGill, Mac Allister, Enciso, Ayari, Ferguson, Offiah, Moran, Samuels, Puepion
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe fielded an unchanged side as he targeted victory over Brighton to edge closer to Champions League qualification. Howe selected the same 11 men who started Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Leeds with injured duo Sean Longstaff and Jacob Murphy missing from the squad again.