Build up to the match
After much has been said regarding Manchester City’s lavish transfer spending this season, it’s time the Citizens prove to the world all their expenses were worth it, and they can start by stamping a definitive victory against overwhelming underdogs Brighton and Hove Albion. The newly-promoted side, meanwhile, will be keen to show their opponents they have what it takes to play with the big boys and as such this match could prove to be a spectacle.
Kickoff: Saturday, 12 August 2017, 5:30PM England time
Venue: Amex Stadium
Brighton and Hove Albion won’t be able to count on the services of midfielder Beram Kayal and forward Sam Baldock because of injuries. Furthermore, striker Glenn Murray and paceywinger Anthony Knockaert are also doubtful to feature in this match due to fitness.
Manchester City feature a full-strength side at the ready, with new signings Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva, among others, all available. Their new signing from Monaco, Benjamin Mendy, however, is a bit doubtful as he has recently come off an injury. Midfield general Ilkay Gundogan could also miss this match due to fitness.
Brighton and Hove Albion
W-W-W-D-D-L (all club friendlies)
The Seagulls have only lost one of their six pre-season friendlies, that defeat a valiant showing against a near full strength Atletico Madrid in which they managed to score two goals to Atletico’s three. That said, if Brighton can pull off the same when the Blue giants of Manchester come to their turf, then the Seagulls may well just grab an unlikely victory.
W-W-L-W-W-W (across all competitions)
Manchester City had two less pre-season friendlies than their opposite side, but have only lost once in their last six fixtures, winning the other five scoring 18 goals in total. That, coupled with the club’s new signings, should make manager Pep Guardiola and his side firmly filled with swagger and confidence coming into this match.
Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton:
“What you hope is that when you get to that first game, you’ve got the right levels and you can look back on pre-season and know you’ve got it right. For us, we’re up against top-class opposition that will have more possession than what we do. It’s going to be a very tough opening game, but we have to play them at some stage.
“It’s a wonderful game for the club and supporters, as a first game in the Premier League, but we have to make sure it’s a good day for the team as well.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola:
“Last season at my first press conference we were favourites, so nothing has changed. I was confident then too.
“We know better now – I know better and the players know me better now. It’s easier. The difference between now and then is the age of the team. The full-backs are younger and have energy. We are going to use them for the capacity we have.”
The last time the two sides met in a league match was back in 1989 – Brighton won 2-1 back in the old Division Two.
It has been 34 years since the last time Brighton hosted a top-flight match.
The Seagulls kept 21 clean sheets in last season’s Championship, more than any other side.
Manchester City have won their opening league match in each of the past six seasons, with Sergio Aguero scoring a total of five goals in those games.
City claimed 12 away wins last season, their highest total in a Premier League campaign.