The Paraguay international has disappointed thus far this campaign, and is still without a goal for the Magpies. Despite that, Nicholas believes Steve Bruce’s team will ease to a 3-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
“Steve Bruce has done a decent job so far and he is trying to ease the tension between him and the fans, who will expect their side to win this match,” he wrote on the Sky Sports website. “It is a golden opportunity for these players to help Bruce slide into a decent position.
“Joelinton will find his feet, while Miguel Almiron is playing on the edge of games and has been tame at times – it is time for him to fire. Brighton started the season superbly, but then what has Graham Potter’s style been thereafter? Their back three is always consistent in what they give you, but Newcastle will find ways to exploit it.”
This is certainly looking like a pivotal early-season game for both teams. Brighton have looked OK so far this season under new boss Potter, but not much actual progress has been made in terms of results. Something similar applies to Newcastle, as well. They had a great result against Tottenham Hotspur and some decent displays elsewhere, but they still need to get more points on the board. A big part of that is their attack kicking into gear at some point. Almiron and Joelinton are the two key men in that regard, but they haven’t quite been firing so far this term. The latter looks isolated and starved of service, while the former seems low on confidence and devoid of final product. Nicholas is right to say that the Paraguayan has been playing on the edge of games. He’s there, but not quite there. This Brighton game, in front of the St James’ Park crowd, presents a real chance for both men to get their seasons going. Let’s hope it happens.