Manchester City return to footballing action following the international break by hosting Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton side.
Previously in the Premier League, Manchester City fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of title-challengers Arsenal at the Emirates, as Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli came off the bench to secure the winner for Mikel Arteta’s side in the 86th minute.
Guardiola’s men failed to perform as expected in north London, albeit against a tough side. The Gunners limited Manchester City to just four shots on goal, resulting in a single effort on target which came from Josko Gvardiol.
However, since then there has been an international break and Guardiola’s players have had time to put the disappointment in the Capital behind them.
Brighton provides what will undoubtedly be a tough test, however the City boss has been given a big boost with the return of Rodri following the completion of his three-match suspension.
Rodri’s absence has been difficult for the Cityzens as they failed to win a single fixture without him, losing to Newcastle, Wolves and the Gunners.
De Zerbi’s team have also struggled for form recently. Despite picking up a point against Liverpool in a 2-2 home draw, the Seagulls are winless in their last four fixtures in all competitions – a run which includes a 6-1 away hammering at the hands of Aston Vila.
In spite of their recent troubles, Brighton find themselves sitting in sixth place. Considering they have already played the likes of Newcastle, Manchester United, West Ham and Liverpool, this represents a very solid return for the side that finished the 2022/23 season in sixth.
However, to caveat this, the Seagulls are yet to keep a clean sheet in any competition this season, which shows that the chance for goals in this contest is very high for Guardiola’s team and the likes of Erling Haaland, Julián Álvarez and Phil Foden.
Known for their expansive style of play, De Zerbi will likely instruct his players to continue in this way, which makes for an interesting and exciting affair at the Etihad Stadium this weekend.
Manchester City will take on Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday 21st October at the Etihad Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 15:00 BST.
Pep Guardiola confirmed in his pre-match press conference that he has a fully-fit side at his disposal with the exception of Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, with the Catalan boss unsure on when the 32-year-old will return.
Rodri is available for selection following the completion of the three-match suspension he was given for a red card against Nottingham Forest last month.
John Stones will also be available for selection as he picked up some minutes for England during the international break.
Brighton boss, De Zerbi, has a number of injury problems he has to deal with for this contest.
Paraguayan Julio Enciso, who scored against Manchester City in May, will not feature for De Zerbi’s side as he suffered a meniscus tear back in August.
Left wing-back Pervis Estupinan suffered a muscle injury during the 6-1 defeat to Aston Villa and therefore won’t feature.
Jakub Moder is also still recovering from a cruciate tear, meanwhile Tariq Lamptey pulled out of the Ghana squad as a result of a knock he picked up.
Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma, who recently signed a new contract until 2027, returned early from international duty due to illness and is a doubt.
Premier League veteran, James Milner, who has been out recently, has been given the all-clear to start the match for Brighton against his former club.
Head to Head
Manchester City avoided defeat in both fixtures against Brighton last season.
After Sergio Agüero in February 2018, Erling Haaland became the first City player to score in seven straight home games in all competitions as he found the net twice in a 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Brighton put up a good fight against Guardiola’s team in the reverse fixture. Despite Foden giving his side the lead in the 25th minute, Enciso came up with a moment of magic as he struck a long range effort to equalise 13 minutes later in a 1-1 draw.
Historically though, Manchester City have enjoyed success against their upcoming opponents with 19 wins in 30 matches and only six defeats.
Manchester City have won 10 of their last 12 fixtures against Brighton. The only two times they failed to win they were already champions.
Manchester City have scored at least once in 25 of their last 26 games against their opponents on Saturday, a run dating back to 1984.
If Manchester City were to lose on Saturday, this would only be the second time this will have happened in Pep Guardiola’s management career.
Phil Foden has scored in all of his five Premier League starts against Brighton. In his league career thus far, he has participated in more goals against the Seagulls than any other opponent.
Brighton are ninth in the Premier League away table this season.
Brighton have scored the most goals this season, with 21 goals scored this campaign so far.
How to Watch
For fans in the United Kingdom, this match will not be televised. This is due to the 15:00 blackout rule. BBC Radio Manchester will, however, be providing full match commentary.
For viewers in the United States, you can view the match on NBC Sports, their app, and USA Network, with kick-off scheduled for 10:00 a.m. EST.
For fans living elsewhere, you can find the complete TV listings here!
You can also follow the match on our live Watchalong show which will be hosted on the City Xtra Youtube channel!
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