Friday, December 15, 2017

Prediction: Brighton vs Manchester City

Verdict: Man City/Man City

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Newly-promoted Brighton are set for a baptism of fire as they face heavily reinforced Manchester City in their opening Premier League fixture, with many believing the Citizens are finally ready to mount a serious title challenge.

Brighton

The Seagulls needed quite some time to return to elite division after enjoying the most successful period between 1979 and 1983, showing a great deal of character to recover from some narrow misses and finally secure promotion to the Premier League. As expected, the squad was reinforced over the summer, but it would appear as though they could sign few more footballers before the transfer window closes. Davy Propper, Matt Ryan, Pascal Gross and Isaiah Brown are all expected to improve the quality of the squad, while Glenn Murray, Anthony Knockaert, Tomer Hemed and veteran Bruno Saltor should help with their extensive experience. Chances are that Amex Stadium will be rocking in Brighton’s first ever Premier League game and the hosts hope that hostile atmosphere will prevent Manchester City from showing all they’ve got. The Seagulls played well on home soil last term, but it remains to be seen how they will fare when facing some of England’s strongest sides. The excitement and anticipation of the Man City game has been marred by injury to Beram Kayal in the final warm-up match.

Team News

The Israeli midfielder will miss around two months of action through a broken fibula, while Sam Baldock and Solomon March are unlikely to play either.

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s first year at Etihad Stadium was overwhelmingly disappointing and the Catalan coach is aware this is a make or break season for him. The Citizens completely changed the back four over the summer as Ederson Moraes, Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy all joined, while Bernardo Silva was brought to reinforce the front line. While most top clubs largely struggled in pre-season, Manchester City looked pretty good, defeating the likes of Real Madrid (4-1), Tottenham (3-0) and West Ham (3-0) after the opening loss to Manchester United (0-2), and they definitely seem well prepared for the new season. It would appear as though Pep Guardiola will use a 3-5-2 formation in the new campaign, which could see Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero start up front, and with players like Yaya Toure, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne creating chances, we could see Man City score goals for fun this term. The three-man back line was also in fine form of late, conceding just one goal in last three matches, so the Citizens definitely look a good bet to defeat Brighton in their opening game.

Team News

Summer recruit Benjamin Mendy misses out through a thigh injury, while Ilkay Gundogan is still a couple of weeks away from returning into action.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Brighton set for first ever Premier League game
  • The Seagulls won last two meetings with Man City
  • Man City won 8 of 17 matches vs Brighton (D4 L5)
  • The Citizens won last three warm-up games
  • Man City scored 21 goals in last 8 away fixtures in EPL

Conclusion

Brighton could find it hard to match England’s best sides and we definitely expect in-form Manchester City to win the game at Amex. The odds on away win are quite low though, so our advice is to back them for a half-time/full-time win.

Verdict: Man City/Man City

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: bet365

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