Fresh off their remarkable third successive Premier League title win, Manchester City will face Brighton & Hove Albion in the penultimate game of the top-flight campaign. As they travel to the Amex Stadium, City will be looking to maintain their dominance and end the season on a high note.
In the reverse fixture seven months ago, Manchester City emerged victorious with a convincing 3-1 win against Brighton. The likes of Erling Braut Haaland, who netted twice, and Kevin De Bruyne, who also found the back of the net, proved to be instrumental in securing the three points for City.
Now, with the Premier League title already in their grasp, Manchester City has an opportunity to showcase their strength and depth as they face Brighton once again. The team’s success this season can be attributed to their exceptional squad depth, tactical prowess, and the ability of their players to consistently deliver outstanding performances.
This will be a good one today, here is everything you need to know to stream the EPL action!
Brighton unfazed, go toe-to-toe with Man City
Even Manchester City fans have to admit: It was great to see the three-time reigning champions challenged and made to extend their unbeaten run to 16 games. Not in the sense that Pep Guardiola’s side simply wasn’t at its best and Brighton were fortunate to face them on the day, but that the Seagulls took the field with every intention of pressing and possessing the ball against Man City the same way they do against Southampton and Leeds (to name the two sides at the bottom of the table).
These are the Premier League champions not to mention UEFA Champions League and FA Cup finalists as well and Brighton matched them across the board. The Seagulls took 11 shots in the first half, the most by any side against Manchester City in Guardiola’s seven seasons at the club. As preparations for two cup finals go, Brighton gave them exactly the kind of test that Guardiola will have wanted.
Brighton have been incredibly difficult to figure out as the season comes to a close. Opponents seem to have somewhat sussed out how to attack Roberto De Zerbi’s tactical setup, and it has led to onslaughts like the 5-1 defeat to Everton and 4-1 reverse to Newcastle.
While the high-risk, high-reward style can definitely produce results, it seems more likely that City will be able to control this match and come away with a victory. Even if Brighton control possession, as they did in the reverse fixture at the Etihad in October (out-passed Man City 398 to 368), they will find it extremely difficult to produce enough chances to keep up.
City have conceded just 39 percent of their goals in the first half, the second-lowest mark in the Premier League. It’s easy to see both teams poking and prodding at each other through the opening 45 minutes, not stretching themselves too much to trouble the scoring given the relative lack of motivation for the two sides in this closing fixture.
Especially considering the visitors may again rest starting-calibre players in the first half before bringing their big guns on in the second half, it’s likely this game will be decided after the break.
Brighton are fourth in the Premier League in corners collected this season, yet in their last three games they’ve amassed a total of seven corners. City, meanwhile, are second in the league in corners, and they are far more consistent in their eventual per-game total.
These two teams also concede the fewest corners in the league, and while something has to give, it’s wise not to give City too high of a bar to clear here.
The Seagulls are hoping to finish the season strongly after earning a place in European competition and are still in with an outside chance of nicking fifth place off Liverpool. Victory over Southampton last weekend means Brighton have won a spot in the Europa League and will finish no lower than sixth yet if they win their final two matches and Liverpool lose on Sunday they will leap above the Reds into fifth.
The possibility of doing so may not be that far-fetched either. After securing yet another Premier League title, Pep Guardiola is expected to rest key personnel ahead of the FA Cup and Champions League finals meaning Roberto De Zerbi’s side could take advantage of a weakened City line-up. However, despite this encounter being a low-stakes affair, City have not lost in 24 matches across all competitions and will likely show why they are so difficult to beat.
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