Brighton v Man City live streaming and TV coverage will be available across the BT Sport network on Saturday as the Seagulls make their eagerly anticipated Premier League bow against the bookmakers’ favourites for the title.
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Brighton v Man City: Match preview
A fascinating afternoon is in prospect at the Amex Stadium as Brighton mark their historic return to the top flight with one of the most intimidating assignments they are likely to face all season.
Thirty-four long years have passed since the Seagulls suffered the double heartbreak of relegation from the old First Division and an FA Cup final replay loss to Manchester United, having famously spurned a glorious chance to win the original clash - a 2-2 draw - deep into extra-time.
In that time, the club’s fans have experienced the full range of emotions, including five relegations, six promotions, a dangerous flirtation with bankruptcy and 12 angst-ridden years searching for a permanent home.
They were finally handed the keys to the Amex in 2011 and now, just 20 years after dramatically avoiding losing their Football League status on goal difference, Brighton can bask in the warm glow of the big time after claiming second place in the Championship last term.
The club has been on an upward trajectory ever since it was bought by Tony Bloom in 2009 and the hugely popular owner – and one-time professional poker player – has backed boss Chris Hughton as he bids for Premier League survival.
Brighton broke their transfer record for the second time this summer earlier this week to sign PSV midfielder Davy Propper in a deal worth up to £10 million and now look set to do so again with a £16 million move for Club Brugge winger Jose Izquierdo.
In total, nine new arrivals – including Valencia keeper Mat Ryan, Ingolstadt playmaker Pascal Gross, Austria left-back Markus Suttner and Chelsea youngster Izzy Brown – have been secured and several could be on display on Saturday.
Of course, Brighton’s spending pales dramatically in comparison to the lavish outlay made by their next opponents during the off-season.
City have invested more than £200 million to bolster their squad for the new campaign as part of a huge turnover in personnel overseen by boss Pep Guardiola after his first season in charge.
The full-back areas have been the main target of the surgery, with Kyle Walker (£45 million from Tottenham), Benjamin Mendy (£52 million from Monaco) and Danilo (£26.5 million from Real Madrid) all arriving at the Etihad Stadium.
Ederson (£35 million from Benfica) will be expected to succeed where Claudio Bravo failed so spectacularly between the posts, while Bernardo Silva (£42.5 million from Monaco) will add further guile to a City midfield already packed with creativity.
The Citizens have looked mightily impressive in pre-season and now appear to possess the requisite quality and depth to enable the tactical flexibility their highly decorated manager famously craves.
Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, for instance, could be fielded as a pair on the south coast in a 3-5-2 formation, rather than being in direct competition for one place at the tip of City’s attack.
Similarly, the trio of new full-backs should be equally happy playing in a four-man defence or as wing-backs, with Leroy Sane or Raheem Sterling even potentially performing the latter role on occasion.
The high-grade promptings of the peerless David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne – not to mention Bernardo, when match-fit, and the evergreen Yaya Toure – will make City a joy to watch once again.
Throw in the vital return to fitness of inspirational skipper Vincent Kompany and it’s clear to see why City’s squad is the envy of the division.
However, the one caveat is that the pressure is well and truly on for Guardiola.
He has now been backed to the tune of approximately £400 million since joining the club and the Catalan must know that nothing less than winning the title will suffice this term.
Will his new-look side make the perfect start at the Amex or could Brighton spring one of the great opening-day surprises?
Make sure you join us exclusively live on BT Sport to find out.
Brighton v Man City: BT Sport Predictor
BT Sport has launched a brand new Premier League predictor game, which is free to play and gives fans the chance to win great cash prizes if they can correctly forecast the top-flight correct scores on any given weekend.
We decided to dip into the data for Brighton v Man City and, unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of our readers are plumping for a City win.
A measly 0.8% of the game's total users are in favour of Brighton, with 1.7% going for the draw and a whopping 91.2% expecting Guardiola’s men to prevail (the remaining 6.3% had not casted their vote at the time of writing).
Here is the breakdown of the most popular scores, with just one Brighton winning result scraping into the top 14:
Brighton v Man City: Team news
Brighton suffered a blow ahead of the game as it emerged that Beram Kayal will be sidelined for 12 weeks after sustaining a broken leg, while striker Sam Baldock (calf) is unlikely to feature.
Ryan, Suttner, Propper and Gross are all expected to make their competitive debuts, with the latter likely to be deployed just behind either Glenn Murray or Tomer Hemed in Hughton’s 4-4-1-1 system.
Brown, who was loan at Huddersfield Town last season, is fighting for inclusion on the left wing, with last season’s Championship Player of the Season, Anthony Knockaert, stationed on the right.
For City, Mendy is ruled out with a thigh injury, meaning Danilo could make his bow at left wing-back, with Walker set to feature on the opposite flank.
Kompany is likely to be paired with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi in front of Ederson, with Toure, De Bruyne and David Silva providing the ammunition for Aguero and Jesus.
Bernardo Silva is short of match fitness after being given an extended post-Confederations Cup break and the best he can hope for is a place on the bench.
Ilkay Gundogan has returned to training following a serious knee injury but is unlikely to be in first-team contention for several weeks.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Brighton v Man City: Previous five meetings
|September 24th, 2008||Carling Cup||Brighton 2-2 Man City|
|April 1st, 1989||Division 2||Brighton 2-1 Man City|
|September 17th, 1988||Division 2||Man City 2-1 Brighton|
|February 23rd, 1985||Division 2||Man City 2-0 Brighton|
|November 3rd, 1984||Division 2||Brighton 0-0 Man City|
Brighton v Man City: Match odds
Man City: 3/10
All odds are subject to change but were correct at time of writing with William Hill
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