• Daniel Gallagher-Parker

KDB likely to return to squad as PL welcomes back fans - Brighton vs Manchester City Preview

After Manchester City's seven-goal thriller against Newcastle United, their last remaining away fixture for the 20/21 season is a trip to the south coast to face Brighton and Hove Albion.

Match Officials:


Referee: Stuart Attwell

Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis & Nick Hopton

Fourth official: Graham Scott

VAR: Jonathan Moss

Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood


Pep Guardiola's side travel to The Amex as Premier League Champions awaiting their trophy, but everything was a bit different this time two years ago. City beat Brighton 5-0 last year, courtesy of Raheem Sterling hat trick, shortly after failing to retain their crown that they so impressively won, just 14 months earlier at the very same ground.


In May 2019, Brighton hosted a City side who had 13 won on the bounce and despite their best efforts, going 1-0 up after 27 minutes, it took the eventual back to back Champions just 88 seconds to react with a Sergio Aguero finish which sparked a tremendous 4-1 win to seal their fate.

City paraded their title in front of fans inside of the Seagull's stadium and they will get the chance to parade their title-winning football in front of fans once again, as the Amex will finally have spectators back.


We're officially less than two weeks away from the Champions League final, with just two more Premier League games left to be played, no one has any idea of what lineup Pep Guardiola will produce, but we do know from the two recent games, that he has been experimenting and giving players who wouldn't usually get game time.


John Stones has returned as an unused substitute against Newcastle from his three-game suspension, meanwhile, Cole Palmer also featured on the bench. Ederson was given a day off as Scott Carson occupied the starting position while Zack Steffen watched from the bench.

Scott Carson made his City debut against Newcastle but Ederson will play the remaining two Premier League games, as confirmed by Pep Guardiola.


But is it now the time where Guardiola decides it's best to play his best starting XI for them to regain a bit of fluidity ahead of the final, or is there still one more game of rotation?


Ferran Torres will surely be in the starting XI after a wonderful hat trick, won his side the three points at St James' Park.


Kevin De Bruyne has also returned to training and could be set for a return.

Predicted lineup:


Ederson;

Cancelo, Stones, Laporte, Ake, Mendy;

Fernandinho, Rodri;

Sterling; Torres; Jesus


A testament to how good Ruben Dias is and the colossal impact he has had on this City defence, as soon as he is excluded from the starting XI City concede three to Newcastle, albeit they still won the game, but conceding three goals will not have been part of Guardiola's plan.


Head to Head


There have only been 25 meetings between Brighton and the Sky Blues before Tuesday and since the Seagulls gained promotion to the Premier League in 2017, they haven't enjoyed playing the Citizens.


City have won EIGHT in a row against their next opposition, meanwhile, you have to go back to 2008 for their most recent defeat and way further back, 1989 for their second most recent defeat.

City have won 16 of the 25 meetings, while Brighton have only won five. There has only been four draws in the history of this fixture and there hasn't been one since 1984.

Manchester City have won every meeting between the sides since the hosts were promoted to the Premier League in 2017.


So everything in the history books is pointing to a comfortable City win, everything in the league this season is pointing to a City win, but as everyone knows, it doesn't always play out as it should.


Brighton have only scored twice against City since they entered Premier League and they have a reputation this season for the worst finishing in the league, so will Brighton cash in on their underperformance of xG this season against the blue side of Manchester?