Manchester City, the defending Premier League champions, welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday in search of their first home win of the league season.
The Citizens have taken seven points from nine which has left them in 2nd spot in the table behind the early pace-setters Liverpool. The only game where Pep Guardiola’s men have come short of a maximum return is their controversial 2-2 draw with Tottenham two weeks ago.
The Sky Blues appeared to have gotten over the Spurs disappointment when easing to a 3-1 win at Bournemouth in their last game.
Brighton have their work cut out though against a City side that has never lost a league match at home to the Seagulls in nine attempts, winning their last five in a row.
The head-to-head record between these two teams doesn’t make fun reading for any Brighton & Hove Albion fan. A peek through the history books reveal that the last time Brighton claimed league points against City was in a second-tier game in April 1989, winning 2-1 at the Goldstone Ground thanks to an Alan Curbishley penalty and an Ian Brightwell own goal.
Manchester City have won 49 of 51 points since they lost to Newcastle in January.
City have been victorious in 16 of their last 17 league matches that have kicked-off at 3pm on a Saturday – the only game that they failed to win was a 3-2 defeat to Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace in December 2018.
That loss is the only one of Pep Guardiola’s 32 top-flight defeats as a manager that has come against an English boss.
They have equalled their club record of scoring in 25 consecutive Premier League matches, set from April to December 2017. Only Arsenal (55 games from 2001-2002) and Manchester United (36 from 2007-2008) have had longer scoring streaks.
Raheem Sterling has scored five goals this season (joint-most with Teemu Pukki) – only Edin Dzeko (six in 2011) and Chris Sutton (six in 1997) have netted more Premier League goals in August in a single season.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Their midweek win over Bristol Rovers was only their second victory in their last 15 matches in all competitions.
They have failed to win any of their 12 league matches against reigning top-flight champions – the most games without a victory of any team in English football history.
They have won just one point from 36 available in Premier League away games against sides from the established top six. They’ve conceded at least once in each of those games and have scored in just three.
Man to watch
Man City have scored a huge ten goals in just three games with Raheem Sterling accounting for half of those goals himself.
However, the one man Brighton cannot afford to not pay very close attention to is City attacker Sergio Aguero who has plundered four goals this term. The Argentine has a terrific goal-getting record against Brighton, scoring in all three of his Premier League appearances against the Seagulls since Albion’s promotion in 2017.
What the managers say
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola on Brighton: “They have a new manager and have made some changes.
“They will play five in the back so they are more aggressive in terms of high press and they start quite well and in their game against Southampton played with 10 men for 55 minutes.”
Brighton head coach Graham Potter on facing Man City: “It’s excitement and it’s a great challenge that you play against the best team.
“It’s always a fantastic opportunity to play against the champions, especially at their home.
“It is the toughest challenge you are going to get but a great opportunity for us to learn about ourselves.”
This should be a straight forward win for the hosts. The last time these two sides met, City battered Brighton 4-1 in a title-clinching win on the last day of the 2018/19 Premier League season. A repeat of such a comfortable victory is totally on the cards yet again.