Albion defensive duo Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk have been saluted for their consistency.

Duffy returns to Newcastle today, where he made his debut in last season’s 2-0 loss in the Championship.

The Irishman came straight back in from a ban alongside Dunk for his 50th league start in the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on Boxing Day.

Boss Chris Hughton said: “Connor Goldson had an opportunity in the previous game (Watford) and did well but in Duffy and Dunk you have got two players who have played together for a season-and-a-half now and got to know each other well.

“They only get to play together for that period of time if they can keep a certain level of consistency. In the Championship they were able to do that and in half-a-season in the Premier League so far, where the quality that they are up against and the individual brilliance is higher, they have both held their own.”

Duffy and Dunk have been touted as one of the best centre-back pairings in the Premier League. Hughton is confident they will not get carried away by the plaudits.

“There is always that danger but you can only assess how it is at a particular time,” he said.

“They are going to make mistakes and concede goals where either one should have done better but on a general level of performance that hasn’t been the case so far.

“There are a lot of very good centre-halves in the Premier League. The thing that sets them aside a little bit is that they have consistently played together.

“Lots of other clubs have had different combinations through injury or whatever. Even Burnley, where it was always Keane and now Tarkowski and Mee.

“I don’t know the levels and that is for others to say, but the consistency has helped and these two are two recognisable because they have played together so many times now.”