Manchester City vs Brighton and Hove Albion
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Referee: Lee Mason
Manchester City entertain Brighton and Hove Albion in a 3pm kick-off this weekend with the two clubs in contrasting form.
City are unbeaten and free-scoring in domestic competitions, while Brighton haven’t tasted victory in all competitions since defeating Manchester United last month. The Seagulls have gone 2-0 down in each of their last three games, coming back to draw 2-2 in two of them, but fell to defeat at home to Spurs last time out.
City meanwhile dismantled Cardiff last weekend before brushing aside Oxford United in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
Pep Guardiola rested several first team players for the trip to Oxford and faces a number of selection dilemmas after impressive performances from fringe players. Arguably the pick of the bunch was young midfielder Phil Foden, who grabbed his first professional goal late on. Although the youngster performed well at Oxford, Guardiola is expected to bring back Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva to the starting XI.
Riyad Mahrez will press for a starting berth after grabbing two goals last weekend while Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane could both come back into the starting XI after not featuring against Oxford. In defence, the Citizens welcomed back Danilo after a long injury lay-off, but will again be without Benjamin Mendy.
Chris Hughton may name an unchanged lineup for the trip to Manchester, but will face a late call on the fitness of midfielder Dale Stephens. Englishman Stephens was forced off in the first half of last week’s defeat to Spurs yet he may be passed fit to play. If not, Beram Kayal is expected to deputise.
Pascal Gross remains the Seagull’s only certain absentee, with Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo also facing a late fitness test. Jurgen Locadia and Alireza Jahanbakhsh will again be restricted to cameos from the bench, as Chris Hughton is expected to keep faith with the more direct Glenn Murray.
Predicted Starting XI’s
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Delph; Fernandinho, Gundogan, B. Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane
Brighton and Hove Albion: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Bissouma, March; Murray
Score Prediction: Manchester City 3 Brighton and Hove Albion 1
Brighton will be hoping they can shock Manchester City as they did their city rivals earlier this season but given the sheer amount of goals Manchester City are scoring as well as their attacking abilities, Brighton will have a huge task on their hands this weekend to challenge Guardiola’s side.