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Preview: Manchester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League meeting between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion, including team news, predictions and head-to-head records.

Manchester City returned to winning ways against Bournemouth last weekend and will be looking to pick up their first home victory of the new campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

City take on Graham Potter's Seagulls, who have had a mixed start to the 2019-20 campaign. A stunning 3-0 opening day win at Watford raised optimism but results have tailed off since.

Manchester City

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates on August 25, 2019© Reuters

Pep Guardiola will have been a satisfied man after City's efficient victory over Bournemouth last weekend.

An Aguero brace and a customary Raheem Sterling strike wrapped up the points for the champions on the South coast as returned City to winning ways after the dramatic 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur the week before.

The Sky Blues created plenty of chances against Eddie Howe's expressive side and will expect the same volume of opportunities this weekend against Brighton.

City have not lost a home match since December, which happened to be against Brighton's fiercest rivals Palace, but will want to get their first triumph on home soil of the new campaign after Gabriel Jesus' late finish was denied by VAR against Spurs.

While Oleksandr Zinchenko has made the left-back spot his own amidst all of Benjamin Mendy's injuries, fans could see a full debut for new signing Joao Cancelo on the other flank.

Kyle Walker's performance at Bournemouth was rash, and City supporters will be excited to see their new acquisition from Juventus.

Last weekend's man of the match David Silva may be rested, with the Spaniard's fitness and game-time having to be carefully managed, but fellow creator Kevin De Bruyne has looked a man rejuvenated in Guardiola's midfield.

Sergio Aguero has traditionally loved this kind of fixture at home to a bottom half side and will be chomping at the bit to score more goals after last weekend's brace.

With Liverpool looking ominously like last season's juggernaut, nothing but a win will do here for City, even at this early stage of the season.

Recent form: WDW

Brighton & Hove Albion

Neal Maupay in action for Brighton on August 10, 2019© Reuters

Graham Potter has had a mixed start to life on the South coast with his new side Brighton.

The 44-year-old got off to the perfect start with that stunning 3-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road.

Results since, however, have been a tad disappointing. The Seagulls have taken just one point from two very presentable home games against West Ham United and Southampton.

The match against the Hammers finished a hard-fought 1-1 draw, with new signing Leandro Trossard quickly cancelling out Javier Hernandez's second-half strike.

The Southampton defeat was forgivable, with Florin Andone's brainless 30th minute red card making life very difficult for his teammates, who slumped to a 2-0 defeat.

Glenn Murray's stoppage time winner did give fans something to cheer about in the Carabao Cup tie at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.

Potter has attempted to instil a different philosophy at Brighton. Gone are the days of playing primarily for a clean sheet under Chris Hughton - the former Swansea manager instead favours a patient approach involving defenders in a three-at-the-back system looking to pass out from the back.

This has seen Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk have to play in a different way this season, and they are also now accompanied by third centre-back Dan Burn.

As admirable as this new philosophy is, in a match as tough as this, it would not be a surprise if Brighton do go back to the Hughton 'hold what you have' game plan.

Recent form: WDL
Recent form (all competitions): WDLW

Team News

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring their fourth goal against Watford on May 18, 2019© Reuters

Pep Guardiola will once again be without a number of first-team stars for the match with Brighton.

Benjamin Mendy remains injured with a knee injury, and will need to time to get back up to speed after missing pre-season.

Leroy Sane will not play again this year after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament in pre-season, while John Stones still has a thigh problem and is doubtful.

Gabriel Jesus missed the victory at Bournemouth with a hamstring problem picked up in training and will again miss out.

Brighton, meanwhile, are stil without long-term injury absentees Jose Izquierdo, Yves Bissouma and Ezequiel Schelotto. The Seagulls will also be without the suspended Florin Andone.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; B. Silva, Aguero, Sterling

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Duffy, Dunk, Burn; Montoya, Stephens, Propper, March; Gross, Murray, Trossard

Head To Head

Manchester City have won all four meetings with Brighton since the Seagulls' promotion to the Premier League, as well as in last season's FA Cup semi-final.

These two last met on the final day of last season, when Glenn Murray's header provided a brief scare before City wrapped up the title with an emphatic 4-1 win.

That Murray goal was one of just two that Brighton have scored against City since promotion, having conceded 11.

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We say: Manchester City 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

City's well-oiled machine are just too strong for most teams in world football, let alone a bottom-half Premier League side. Even without Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane, the Sky Blues have firepower everywhere you look, and should win this match comfortably.

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Who will win the Premier League clash between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion?

Manchester City
Brighton & Hove Albion
Manchester City
Brighton & Hove Albion
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Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring their fourth goal against Watford on May 18, 2019
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