The final pitstop in this intriguing Premier League title race has arrived and defending champions Manchester City face Brighton at the Amex Stadium. The equation is simple for the Blues: beat a team they have defeated by a two-goal margin in the three previous Premier League encounters and retain the coveted trophy. Anything less than a win may lead to heartbreak on the final day with challengers leaders having a favourable home tie against Wolves.
It will be a relief for Manchester City fans that Brighton have already secured their place in the top-flight for another season, but it may allow the Seagulls to play more free-flowing football without the fear of losing anything.
Pep Guardiola’s side come into the highly anticipated clash in incredible form – on a winning run of 13 Premier League matches – only the fourth time a team has achieved a winning run of 13 or more games, twice from City.
Manchester City have scored a staggering 91 goals in the Premier League this season but the worrying part for the Blues will be that they have scored more than twice in just one of their last seven away trips in the Premier League with three of those games being goalless at half-time.
Brighton and Hove Albion – Most Used Formations
Expect a classic 4-4-2 with lots of long balls towards Glenn Murray. Anthony Knockaert is someone who can hurt any team in the Premier League with his quality and precision – keep in mind his ability from set pieces. Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy are the centre-back duo to be aware of during set-pieces and trust me, Brighton are more than capable of hurting Manchester City from a dead-ball situation.
Brighton & Hove Albion – Strengths
Brighton’s Glenn Murray has scored the opener in seven of the ten PL games he’s netted in. Long balls were something Pep Guardiola was worried about when he stepped into Premier League, and it is something which has continued to trouble the Manchester City defence. The presence of Vincent Kompany and Aymeric Laporte will be massive for the Blues but a simple lapse of concentration can prove costly. Gross and Knockaert’s quality on the ball is something everyone is aware of. The latter has some sensational dribbling ability, mixed with pace and power which is enough to hurt a team if they are complacent during the course of 90 minutes.
Brighton and Hove Albion – Weaknesses
Sitting in 17th place, Brighton have conceded 56 goals in the Premier League this season while scoring just 34. The Seagulls’ quality, when compared to the Blues, is hell and heaven different, especially in defence, where they just don’t seem to cope with the growing intensity of top clubs in the Premier League. Manchester City will have to target them where it hurts the most – by scoring goals, playing high-intensity football, by showing why they deserve to lift the Premier League title AGAIN!
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