A sell-out crowd is expected at the AMEX for Brighton’s first Premier League fixture. Over 30,000 Seagulls fans are set to watch Brighton kick off against 2014 champions Man City, the game being 2017/18’s first Saturday late kick-off, shown live on BT Sport 1.
The newly promoted Seagulls could give debuts to as many as four summer signings, with Mat Ryan, Markus Suttner, Pascal Gross and Izzy Brown all impressing in preseason.
Midfielder Beram Kayal will be out for at least eight weeks after suffering a broken leg in last week’s 3-2 loss to Atletico Madrid while Glenn Murray could return after his red card in a friendly against Girona.
Mat Ryan will start in goal, with Chris Hughton largely trusting the same defence that won promotion for the south coast club last season with Bruno, Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy all set to start. Former Newcastle boss Hughton faces a selection dilemma in midfield following Kayal’s injury, with Steve Sidwell, Solly March and Championship player of the season Anthony Knockaert pushing for recalls.
Pep Guardiola has uncharacteristically experimented with formations this summer. The Citizens lined up with a back three in preseason, with Leroy Sane, Danilo and Kyle Walker all trialled at wingback.
City are set to start with Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Vincent Kompany in defence, with the impressive Danilo on the left and £45 million-man Walker on the right. This game comes too soon for recent signing Benjamin Mendy.
Ahead of them, Yaya Toure and Fernandinho are set to battle it out for a spot behind David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, while Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero are set to appear up front together in a very attacking line up. Like Mendy, Bernardo Silva will likely miss this fixture, having only joined up with the squad last Tuesday.
Written by Sam Hanys.