Monday, November 11, 2019

Prediction: Manchester City vs Brighton

Tom Dunstan in FA Cup, Free Soccer Predictions 6 Apr 2019

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Verdict: Manchester City win to nil and Sergio Aguero to score anytime

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

Two sides looking to book a spot in this year’s FA Cup final, Manchester City will meet Brighton at Wembley on Saturday evening.

Manchester City

Starting with the defending Premier League champions, picking up a 2-0 win over Cardiff in midweek and reclaiming their spot at the top of the table, many around the Etihad are whispering about a historic quadruple-winning season. Coming from two goals behind away at Swansea and just snatching a late 3-2 win off of Championship outfit, Pep Guardiola’s side are enjoying a 13-match winning run across all competitions and have a Champions League quarter-final against Tottenham to look forward to next week. The Sky Blues also have some very happy memories when it comes to their appearances at Wembley this year. Back in February, City’s penalties victory against Chelsea saw them lift the Carabao Cup and simultaneously their first piece of silverware this season. Picking up a 2-0 win when they faced Brighton in the top-flight back in September, one man to watch on Saturday will be leading goalscorer, Sergio Aguero. Sat two clear at the top of the Premier League’s goalscoring charts, the Argentinian marksman has 15 goals in his last 14 appearances across all competitions. The 30-year-old has also scored in both of the previous rounds of this year’s FA Cup.

Team News

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Sergio Aguero is “almost fit” after a muscle problem and he will travel with the squad.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is out with a hamstring problem, so Danilo or Benjamin Mendy will start at left-back.

Brighton

As for Brighton, pulling off the most dramatic of late comebacks to come past Championship strugglers Millwall in the quarter-finals, Chris Hughton will know that his side must show a similar resolve on Saturday. Coming off the back of a 3-0 loss away at Chelsea in midweek, the Seagulls have struggled with their consistency throughout the season. Suffering a pair of defeats prior to their trip to Wembley and many believing that they’re still firmly at the heart of a relegation battle, Brighton’s major struggles this year have come down to their form away from the Amex. Hughton’s men have lost four of their last five top-flight matches on their travels and have picked up just one victory away at Premier League opposition since the 1st of December. With leading goalscorer Glenn Murray finding the net just once in his last seven appearances, Brighton have also famously struggled when up against established top six sides. Since promotion, they have lost all 11 competitive away games against the established top six – scoring twice and conceding 24.

Team News

Brighton winger Solly March is a fitness doubt because of the tight calf that prompted his substitution at Chelsea in midweek.

Jurgen Locadia missed that game with a similar issue and will be assessed.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City have won all three Premier League encounters by an aggregate score of 7-1. They have only lost once to Brighton in 11 meetings (excluding a penalty shootout) since the south coast side knocked them out of the FA Cup in 1983.
  • City are on a run of 21 wins in 22 matches, including the penalty shootout victory in the Carabao Cup final.
  • The five-time FA Cup winners have won 10 of their previous 13 semi-finals in the competition, including eight of the past nine.
  • Brighton have never won at Wembley, losing three successive matches there since a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in the 1983 FA Cup final.
  • This is only a second FA Cup semi-final for Brighton, who were quarter-finalists last season.

Conclusion

With their sights firmly set on completing a record-breaking sweep this season, it is almost impossible to bet against Manchester City. Along with Sergio Aguero continuing to shine in the final third, the Sky Blues have begun to show plenty of defensive resolve by now keeping six clean sheets in their last seven matches against Premier League opposition. Given the gulf in class between the two sides, we’re backing a comfortable afternoon for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Verdict: Manchester City win to nil and Sergio Aguero to score anytime

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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