Brighton v Man City preview: Seagulls target Cityzen's scalp
EPL By: Iseghohi Odianosen | 11/08/2017
One of the Premier League new boys Brighton will have their opener against Manchester City on Saturday evening.Brighton achieved an automatic promotion from the Championship last season after securing a spot in England’s top flight for the first time in 34 years.The Seagulls made a number of acquisitions over the summer to help their Premier League campaign and have broken their club record for a signing three times, doing so on goalkeeper Matthew Ryan, midfielder Davy Propper and then winger Jose Izquierdo.Man City also have a few new faces in their ranks although they have cost considerably more than Brighton's arrivals and the pressure is on manager Pep Guardiola after a difficult first season on English shoresHe guided City to a third place finish in the Premier League table but he went trophy-less last season - the first time Guardiola has not won a trophy in his first season at a new club - and were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Monaco.With many tipping the club to win the league title this term - City will be looking to extend their run of six consecutive opening day victories, the current longest spell of wins in the Premier League.Izquierdo is unlikely to receive his international clearance in time to make his Brighton bow but Chris Hughton can call on fellow new recruit Propper in the middle of the park.Midfielder Beram Kayal will miss the next two months with a broken leg, however, and his absence restricts boss Hughton's optionsMan City could hand debuts to four summer signings, with Ederson, Bernardo Silva who was brought in from Monaco, Kyle Walker ( Tottenham Hotspur) and Danilo ( Real Madrid) all in line to start.Another new recruit, Benjamin Mendy, is missing with a thigh problem while Ilkay Gundogan is not yet fully fit after suffering a knee injury last season.This will be the first competitive meeting between these two clubs since a League Cup tie back in September 2008. That game ended 2-2, with Brighton prevailing 5-3 on penalties at their former home, the Withdean Stadium.The last league meeting between Brighton and Man City was a 2-1 home win for the south-coast side in April 1989, in the second tier of English football.
Brighton's last opening day fixture in the top-flight was against Ipswich in 1982-83, drawing 1-1 at home. Their only opening day success in the top-flight was against Wolves in 1980-81.The Seagulls have won just one of their last five opening fixtures to a league season (D1 L3).Kyle Walker could make his Premier League debut for Man City on SaturdayChris Hughton has only won one of his seven opening day league matches as a manager, a 1-0 win for Brighton over Nottingham Forest in 2015 (D3 L3).Sergio Aguero has five goals in six previous opening day matches for Manchester City.Brighton could be the 31st different team that Sergio Aguero has faced in the Premier League. The Argentine has scored against 29 of the other 30 clubs he's played against, only failing to score versus Bolton Wanderers.Pep Guardiola has won each of his last seven opening day league games, last losing in 2008.The Amex Stadium will be the 56th different ground to host a Premier League match. Only one of the last eight teams debuting in the Premier League has lost their opening home match (Bournemouth in 2015).Brighton were runners up in the Championship last seasonRaheem Sterling was the only Manchester City player to reach double figures for both goals and assists in all competitions in 2016-17 (10 goals, 15 assists).New Brighton midfielder Pascal Grob created the most goal scoring chances in the German Bundesliga last season (98) while plying his trade for FC Ingolstadt 04. Match prediction: Manchester City should be able to wrap this up considering the wealth of experience at their disposal. Brighton and Hove Albion 0-3 Manchester City.