Will the Sky Blues crack the Seagulls’ tenacious defence?

When Brighton & Hove Albion host reigning champions Manchester City, it actually sounds like a very clear-cut affair. In fact, however, two direct neighbours in the table will be facing each other on Saturday. The Seagulls occupy fourth place and could theoretically even overtake the current third-placed Manchester City with a home win.

Albion also won their last home match against the Sky Blues 3-2 on 18 May 2021, but bettors still see the southerners as heavy underdogs at the Falmer Stadium. In the run-up to the match between Brighton and Manchester City, the odds are clearly swinging in the direction of the Citizens.

This is expected to be a very close affair in any case. While Manchester City have the best defence in the Premier League with only three goals conceded in eight league games, the Seagulls have the third-best defence with only five goals conceded. Accordingly, there is a lot of value to be found in betting on a low-scoring match between Brighton and Manchester City.

We opt for the home side with a +2 handicap, which covers not only any point gained by the surprise team but also any City win with a one-goal difference.

Brighton – Statistics & current form

Brighton & Hove Albion played in the third-tier League One in the 2010/11 season, but have been a permanent fixture in the Premier League since the summer of 2017. The Seagulls are now firmly established in the Premier League and, in their fifth consecutive year in the top flight, even seem to be facing a completely carefree season.

At the very least, the men from England’s south coast surprisingly hold a place in the UEFA Champions League after eight games. Fourth in the table, they are also just four points behind first place.

The third best defence in the Premier League

The reason for this current high, which could have been higher considering the two points dropped at last-place Norwich City (final score: 0-0), is the incredible defensive compactness of the southerners.

Graham Potter’s side have conceded just five goals in eight league games and go into the top-of-the-table clash against the Citizens with the third-best defensive record in the Premier League, having also scored a surprising 3-2 home win against them in their last home game in May this year.

On average, only one goal per league game

While the South’s offence is certainly capable of improvement.

With eight goals in eight games, Brighton also have the seventh weakest attack in the Premier League. In the end, however, only Everton FC have managed to score more than one goal against the Seagulls and take the three points from the English seaside resort.

Full of confidence, Albion can therefore go into this home game in which at least the bookmakers have little confidence in the supposed underdogs.

Predicted Brighton line-up:
Sánchez – Cucurella – Burn – Dunk – Duffy – Veltman – Moder – Lallana – Great – Maupay – Trossard

Last Brighton Games:

Premier League
10/16 2021 – Norwich 0 – 0 Brighton

10/02 2021 – Brighton 0 – 0 Arsenal London

09/27 2021 – Crystal Palace 1 – 1 Brighton

Carabao Cup
09/22 2021 – Brighton 2 – 0 Swansea

Premier League
09/19 2021 – Brighton 2 – 1 Leicester

Manchester City – Statistics & current form

Manchester City did win the seventh championship in the club’s history at the end of the 2020/21 season and also secured the EFL Cup for the fourth time in a row. However, because they lost 1-0 to Chelsea in the Champions League final, which they reached for the first time, there was still a somewhat dull aftertaste from the previous season.

However, the Sky Blues have not been deterred so far and are back in full swing in all competitions. They have already suffered the first setbacks, however.

So far three defeats in the first 13 competitive games

First, City lost 1-0 to FA Cup winners Leicester City in the Community Shield before another 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in their Premier League opener on matchday one.

Then there was the 2-0 away defeat at Paris Saint-Germain on the second matchday of the Champions League group stage. In total, there have already been three defeats in the first 13 competitive matches of the 2021/22 season (two draws, eight wins). In league play, they are currently two points behind leaders Chelsea.

The best defence in the Premier League

Nevertheless, the interplay of a resounding attack (16 goals in eight league games) and an outstanding defence (only three goals conceded), which has been perfected under Pep Guardiola, continues to be impressive.

However, the Sky Blues’ away record needs to improve again. Away from home, City have only taken seven points out of a possible twelve and consequently only occupy seventh place in the away table. Against this backdrop, the Seagulls’ defensive strength should not be categorically ruled out for a point against Manchester City in Brighton.

Predicted Manchester City line-up:
Ederson – Aké – Laporte – Stones – Cancelo – De Bruyne – Rodri – B. Silva – Foden – Mahrez – Sterling

Last matches played by Manchester City:

Champions League Grp. A
10/19 2021 – Club Brugge 1 – 5 Manchester City

Premier League
10/16 2021 – Manchester City 2 – 0 Burnley

10/03 2021 – Liverpool FC 2 – 2 Manchester City

Champions League Grp. A
09/28 2021 – Paris Saint-Germain 2 – 0 Manchester City

Premier League
09/25 2021 – Chelsea London 0 – 1 Manchester City

Brighton – Manchester City Direct comparison / H2H record

Head to head: 6 – 4 – 16

There have been a total of 26 meetings between the two teams so far and with 16 victories the balance is clearly in favour of the Citizens, who however lost their last visit to Brighton despite leading 2-0 (final score: 2:3).

Brighton – Manchester City Tip

When it comes to Brighton against Manchester City, our prediction is shaped by the defensive compactness of both teams. The Seagulls have only conceded five goals, while the Sky Blues have the best defence in the Premier League with only three goals conceded. The clash between two direct neighbours in the table is likely to be correspondingly close.

Although, the City attack is certainly capable of cracking Albion. However, considering that the Seagulls also like to unnerve their opponents with unfair means – no team has conceded more yellow cards (22) so far – a point win for the southerners is not categorically ruled out.

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