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Brighton logo
Premier League | Gameweek 29
Apr 25, 2024 at 8pm UK
The American Express Community Stadium
Manchester City logo

0 - 4
Man City

Veltman (35'), Balepa (76')
FT(HT: 0-3)
De Bruyne (17'), Foden (26', 34'), Alvarez (62')

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

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

Seeking to climb back to the Premier League summit, reigning champions Manchester City travel to the American Express Stadium to face Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday night.

The two teams meet for the first time since the end of October last year when the Citizens survived a late Seagulls fightback to claim a 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Match preview

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi reacts on April 13, 2024© Reuters

Amidst all the uncertainty over the future of head coach Roberto De Zerbi as well as their continuous injury woes, Brighton's form has taken a nosedive since the turn of the year and they find themselves playing catch-up in the race to secure European football for next season.

Just three wins have been posted across their 13 Premier League games of 2024 and they have failed to come out on top in any of their last four matches, most recently rescuing a point in a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Burnley just over a week ago.

A calamitous own goal from Clarets goalkeeper Arijanet Muric restored parity for the Seagulls just five minutes after Josh Brownhill had given the hosts a 74th-minute lead, and the draw for Brighton represents their 11th in the top flight this season, at least two more than any other team in the division.

After securing sixth spot in the previous campaign, their highest-ever Premier League finish, Brighton currently sit 10th in the table, six points behind seventh-placed Manchester United and sixth-placed Newcastle United with six games left to play.

With four of their remaining six league matches on home soil, Brighton will welcome a return to the Amex where they have only lost one of their last 15 fixtures in all competitions - a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in their most recent home outing on April 6.

Success on Thursday could prove challenging for the Seagulls as they have lost 11 of their previous 13 Premier League encounters with Man City, although the four points that they have collected during this run have come across their last three home games with the Citizens, including a solitary point claimed in a 1-1 draw last season - a game in which Julio Enciso scored a long-range screamer that was voted Goal of the Season.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts on April 20, 2024© Reuters

Three days after their heart-breaking Champions League exit on penalties to Real Madrid, Man City secured their spot in the FA Cup final for a second successive year after edging past Chelsea by a 1-0 scoreline at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Chelsea were made to rue a host of missed chances and a visibly jaded Citizens outfit snatched victory six minutes from time when Bernardo Silva's deflected strike squeezed in at the near post to ensure that the holders remain on course to for another domestic double, setting a new unbeaten club record in the process.

Another Manchester derby FA Cup final awaits Pep Guardiola's side on May 25, but they must first shift their attention back to the Premier League title race. The Citizens have slipped to third in the table after both Arsenal and Liverpool won at the weekend – the Gunners can move four points clear at the top with victory over Chelsea on Tuesday, but City will crucially have two games in hand.

Man City, bidding to win an unprecedented fourth Premier League title in a row, have put together a club-record 42-game unbeaten run at the Etihad Stadium in all competitions, but they are now gearing up for four away league matches in their next five, including Thursday's trip to Brighton.

The only two times that City have failed to beat the Seagulls in the Premier League have interestingly come in a midweek game at the Amex - losing 3-2 in May 2021 (on a Tuesday) and the aforementioned 1-1 draw in May 2023 (on a Wednesday).

Guardiola and co will be confident of success on Thursday, though, as they have won 17 of their last 19 midweek Premier League fixtures, while they have accumulated 19 points from a possible 21 available across their last seven away games. They have also scored in all 13 top-flight meetings with Brighton, only facing Bournemouth (14) on more occasions with a 100% scoring record.

Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form:

Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions):

Manchester City Premier League form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester City's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring their first goal on October 28, 2023© Reuters

Brighton will have to cope without Solly March (knee), Kaoru Mitoma (back), Jack Hinshelwood (foot), James Milner (thigh), Tariq Lamptey (muscle), Billy Gilmour (knee), Evan Ferguson (ankle) and Pervis Estupinan (calf), the latter of whom is ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up his injury against Burnley last time out.

Enciso will have a knock assessed ahead of kickoff, while De Zerbi has confirmed defender Adam Webster is available to return to the matchday squad, although both Lewis Dunk and Jan Paul van Hecke could continue in the heart of the defence.

Igor Julio or Valentin Barco - who was linked with Man City in January before joining the Seagulls - could slot in at left-back in the absence of Estupinan, while Ansu Fati, who scored in the reverse fixture at the Etihad, will battle with the likes of Simon Adingra, Facundo Buonanotte, Adam Lallana and Joao Pedro for a start in attack.

As for Man City, Guardiola has confirmed that top scorer Erling Haaland will miss Thursday's game as he continues to recover from a minor muscle issue, but both Phil Foden - who missed training on Tuesday along with Haaland - and John Stones are in contention to face Brighton.

Rotation, where possible, could be on the cards from Guardiola considering a number of his players are suffering from fatigue - Rodri recently admitted he is in need of a rest but he could be given the nod to start again in midfield, while Bernardo Silva, who has trained, stated after the FA Cup semi-final that he was "feeling his left hamstring" and "right calf" so the playmaker is set to be assessed ahead of kickoff.

Stones and Ruben Dias had their minutes managed last weekend as they each played for 45 minutes against Chelsea. The defensive duo are in contention to start against Brighton, though, as are Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji and Kevin De Bruyne, who have all recently shaken off minor complaints.

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Veltman, Van Hecke, Dunk, Igor; Gross, Baleba; Adingra, Lallana, Pedro; Welbeck

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Foden, De Bruyne, Doku; Alvarez

SM words green background

We say: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-3 Manchester City

Brighton have had over a week to rest and prepare for Thursday's important fixture as they endeavour to boost their European hopes, but their depleted squad will still have a tricky task on their hands in quelling the threat of title-chasing Man City, who can ill-afford to drop points at this late stage in the season.

Goals are to be expected as the net has rippled at least three times in eight of the last 10 Premier League meetings between these two clubs, but City boast the superior head-to-head record and will be regarded as firm favourites, even without the presence of Haaland, against an out-of-sorts Seagulls outfit.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Tables header RHS
1Manchester CityMan City37277393336088
4Aston Villa37208976562068
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs371961271611063
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle371761481602157
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd37176145558-357
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham371410135971-1252
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton371212135560-548
12Crystal Palace371210155258-646
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves37137175063-1346
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3789204766-1929
18Luton TownLuton3768235081-3126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd37372735101-6616

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