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Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups
23/10/2021 08:15:34

Third meets fourth in the Premier League at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, as Brighton & Hove Albion play host to Manchester City on the South Coast.

The Seagulls were held to a goalless stalemate by basement side Norwich City last time out, while the champions eased to a comprehensive 2-0 success over Burnley.

We say: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Manchester City

Amassing just one goal in three games before the visit of the champions does not exactly spell success for this Brighton side, but their strong start to the campaign means that they still command plenty of respect.

City fans cannot travel South expecting a second five-goal drubbing of the week, but Guardiola's side should still get the job done with a professional performance on Saturday.

Match preview

While it may be too early to determine whether Brighton's fast start to the season is slowly petering out, the Seagulls' dominance has turned to draws in recent weeks, the latest of which came against bottom-of-the-table Norwich City.

Despite bossing the ball with 65% possession and firing seven shots on target, there was no way through for Graham Potter's men at Carrow Road, with that result representing their third one-pointer in a row following previous stalemates with Crystal Palace and Arsenal.

However, with 11 points from the last 15 on offer under their belts during a five-game unbeaten league run, the high-flying Seagulls remain in the top four of the rankings, although they are now only above Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference.

Brighton may have only chalked up eight goals at the correct end of the pitch so far - the fewest out of any side in the top half - but only Chelsea and City have shipped fewer than their five at the other end, as Potter's well-coached side finally produce the results that their performances have so often warranted.

The Seagulls have also suffered just one defeat in their last nine Premier League battles on home soil, but with a league-high 22 yellow cards already this term, indiscipline could prove fatal against the rampant champions.

Continuing their surge up the rankings following the international break, Man City barely needed to get out of second gear to sink Burnley at the Etihad last time out, with Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne both making the net ripple on home soil in gameweek eight.

Pep Guardiola's side were expected to face a much sterner test against Club Brugge in the Champions League, but the Belgian champions' resilience was broken in a storming 5-1 win for the English champions, although that result was overshadowed by reports of a Man City supporter being hospitalised after an attack following the game.

On the pitch, Man City have certainly consigned their opening-day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur to history - taking 17 points from the last 21 on offer in the division - and they now occupy third spot in the rankings behind Liverpool and leaders Chelsea.

With only three goals conceded - all of which have come on the road - City's defensive record is unsurprisingly the joint-best alongside Chelsea, although the travelling party will need no reminding of what happened during their most recent trip to the Amex.

Indeed, Brighton marched to a remarkable 3-2 win on the South Coast after recovering from going two goals behind back in May, although City have won the other seven Premier League meetings between the two teams and have never failed to score more than twice at the Amex in that time.

Team News

Brighton defender Adam Webster has an "outside chance" of being passed fit for this encounter, but Danny Welbeck and Steven Alzate remain absent for the Seagulls.

Yves Bissouma ought to be pushing for a recall to the side after shaking off a minor issue to make the bench against Norwich, while Tariq Lamptey replaced Joel Veltman after 59 minutes last time out and will hope to force his way back into the side here.

Despite a lack of ruthlessness against Norwich, Potter is unlikely to consider altering the Neal Maupay-Leandro Trossard connection in the final third.

Meanwhile, striker Ferran Torres remains City's only injury absentee as he recovers from his foot fracture, but Guardiola otherwise has bountiful options for rotation on the South Coast.

John Stones remains a slight doubt after missing the Brugge win due to personal reasons, though, and Guardiola may elect to save the bulk of his changes for their midweek EFL Cup battle with West Ham United.

Phil Foden can look forward to another start at the forefront of the attack if that is the case, but Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan will hope to force their way back into the XI regardless.

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:

Sanchez; Dunk, Duffy, Burn; Veltman, Gross, Bissouma, Lallana, Cucurella; Maupay, Trossard

Manchester City possible starting lineup:

Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden, Grealish

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