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Brighton v Manchester City Match Preview – Easy win or banana skin?

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Admin

brightonandhovealbionThe first David v Goliath clash of the 2017/18 Premiership season takes place on Saturday as newly promoted Brighton host megabucks Man City at The Amex. Brighton fans are giddy with excitement after the Seagulls just broke their transfer record to capture PSV Eindhoven’s Davy Propper in a £6 million deal. City boss Pep Guardiola makes that in less than five months. The Citizens have broken the world record for the largest spend in a single transfer window by snapping up a quintet of stars and they are the clear favourites to win the title, while Brighton are tipped for the drop. On paper it should prove a complete mismatch, but Brighton are a decent side and may well spring a surprise.

Newly promoted teams ride into the top flight on the crest of a wave and that can sometimes result in them excelling early on. They carry the feel-good factor and winning mentality over from the previous season and that confidence and positivity often translates into a strong start to life in the Premiership. Brighton have a settled side and have added a few quality reinforcements this summer, so it may not be a totally one-sided encounter. They will take heart from a pre-season friendly against the mighty Atletico Madrid, where they were unlucky to lose 3-2 courtesy of a last minute winner from Lucas Hernandez. New signing Pascal Gross looks a talented playmaker and Propper will further bolster a strong midfield, while forward Glenn Murray has proven he has the talent to win games at this level.

However, the bookmakers clearly feel that a monumental task awaits Chris Hughton’s men on Saturday. Brighton go into the match as 10/1 outsiders, which is a huge set of odds to be placed on a home team, while Man City are all the way in at 1/3 to win it and most of the action is going on them. Listing the wealth of attacking talent at Pep Guardiola’s disposal can be a frightening exercise: Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure and now Bernardo Silva too. They have a terrifying blend of pace, power, movement, creativity and finishing ability and can decimate teams at will.

PepGuardiolaYet question marks still hang over this City side, namely the goalkeeper, the defence and Guardiola’s tactics. Claudio Bravo was a disaster last season when he was brought in to replace the reliable Joe Hart. Guardiola has admitted his mistake and sought to rectify it by breaking the world record for a keeper to sign Ederson from Benfica. Yet the uncapped Brazilian is just 23 years old and has only one full season under his belt in Portugal, so the jury is very much out on him. Guardiola has signed a trio of full-backs for more than £100 million and that should give them more pace and energy in wide areas, but it does not address the most gaping problem City have: centre-back. The Citizens conceded far more goals than Chelsea, Tottenham and Man Utd last season because they committed too many errors in central defence, and until they sign someone in this area they will always be liable to leak goals. Guardiola also made some bizarre tactical decisions last season and looks set to continue that trend going into the 2017/18 campaign due to his current obsession with full-backs. If City take time to adapt to these new tactics it could see them get off to a slow start to the season.

That being said, Man City should win it due to their superior firepower. But you would expect Brighton to display pluckiness, create some chances and get on the score sheet. If you are looking at options on sports spreads then you can buy at 3.15 in the total goals market and that looks an intriguing bet as this could well be a high-scoring encounter with goals from both sides. City have scored three or more goals in all of their recent pre-season friendlies, and that Atletico game highlighted Brighton’s goal scoring prowess, so this could prove a great game for the neutrals and a nail-biting encounter for fans.

Author bio

Martin Green is an experienced sports writer and tipster. He has been covering the Premier League for many years.

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