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Preview: Manchester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Brighton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Manchester City will be aiming to stretch their winning run across all competitions to seven matches when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to the Etihad for Wednesday's Premier League battle.

Both teams advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup at the weekend, with Pep Guardiola's side cruising past Birmingham City, while Brighton knocked League Two side Newport County out on penalties.


Match preview

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

As expected, Man City made light work of Sunday's visit of Birmingham in the FA Cup, with Bernardo Silva netting a quickfire double before Phil Foden's strike put the game to bed before half time.

That result came days after Guardiola's men had advanced to the EFL Cup final with a dominant win at the home of their bitter rivals Manchester United, and City have certainly hit top gear at a crucial time of the campaign.

Wednesday's hosts are unbeaten in 13 and are on a six-game winning streak in all competitions - scoring 15 and conceding just twice in that run - and have propelled themselves into title contention as the season approaches its midway point.

As things stand, Guardiola's men occupy fifth spot in the table, but reigning champions Liverpool - who have begun to falter recently - are only four points clear of City having played two games more.

Despite their well-documented defensive injuries, Guardiola's rearguard continue to perform valiantly on a consistent basis and have shipped just three goals in their last 10 home matches in all competitions, largely thanks to the resurgent John Stones and reliable Ruben Dias.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter pictured in December 2020© Reuters

While City claimed a dominant win to advance in the FA Cup, Brighton only just managed to avoid sharing Leeds United's fate after scraping past Newport on penalties at Rodney Parade.

Seagulls goalkeeper Jason Steele did not cover himself in glory over the full 120 minutes, but the 30-year-old quickly went from villain to hero as he saved four penalties in a dramatic finale, with Brighton edging the shootout 5-4 to avoid being on the wrong end of another giant killing.

Manager Graham Potter described the experience as "traumatic" as the Seagulls managed to end their eight-game winless run, and the 45-year-old will be desperate to see his side carry that momentum forward in the Premier League, where Brighton can only boast a solitary win from their last 15 attempts.

While the three sides below them in Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United have also endured barren runs without victory, Brighton's dismal form means that only three points separate them from the drop zone after 17 matches, and Fulham do have two games in hand over the relegation-threatened Seagulls.

Man City boast a 100% record against Brighton since the South Coast side earned promotion to the Premier League, and this week's visitors have never won a league game on the Citizens' turf.

Manchester City Premier League form: WDDWWW
Manchester City form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form: LDDDLD
Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions): DDDLDW



Team News

Sergio Aguero in action for Manchester City on December 15, 2020© Reuters

City's star man Sergio Aguero has scored every time he has faced Brighton in the Premier League, but the Argentine will miss out here after coming into contact with a COVID-positive individual.

Ederson was fit enough to make the bench against Birmingham and will displace Zack Steffen here, while Ferran Torres should be available after recovering from coronavirus.

However, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake both remain sidelined through injury, and there is a question mark over Raheem Sterling's involvement after he missed out the FA Cup win due to a lack of match fitness, but he should make the first XI here.

Brighton's ever-growing absentee list welcomes midfield lynchpin Yves Bissouma, who is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards, so Davy Propper is set for a swift recall to the engine room.

Danny Welbeck, Aaron Connolly and Adam Lallana all missed the trip to Rodney Parade and the trio will play no part in this one, while it is still too soon for Tariq Lamptey to return to action.

Steele's shootout heroics will probably not be enough to see him keep his place in goal over Robert Sanchez, while Leandro Trossard will be aiming to put his penalty miss behind him as he earns a recall to the attack.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Mendy; Rodri, Gundogan; Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling; Jesus

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Sanchez; Webster, Dunk, Burn; Veltman, Propper, White, March; Trossard, Mac Allister; Maupay


SM words green background

We say: Manchester City 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

Manchester City have not been their usual dominant selves on the attacking front throughout the campaign, but at the other end of the pitch, their defensive prowess is evident. Brighton supporters will not be looking ahead to this tie with any optimism whatsoever, and this should be a routine win for Guardiola's men over the struggling Seagulls.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data



Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


ID:430024:cQx

How you voted: Man City vs Brighton

Manchester City
88.9%
Draw
5.9%
Brighton & Hove Albion
5.2%
307
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Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter pictured in December 2020
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Brighton boss Graham Potter has no complaints about fixture scheduling
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd19124336251140
2Manchester CityMan City18115231131838
3Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
4Liverpool1997337221534
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
6Everton1710252821732
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham199552722532
8Aston Villa1792631181329
9Chelsea1985633231029
10Southampton188552621529
11Arsenal198382319427
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Burnley185491022-1219
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle1954101832-1419
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
18Fulham1826101527-1212
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1925121543-2811
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225

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