Manchester City will be looking for all three points when they host Brighton & Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola’s team were knocked out from the FA Cup after a 2-3 loss to Liverpool at Wembley last time out, while the Seagulls defeated Tottenham Hotspur 1-0.
For the time being, Manchester City remain at the top of the Premier League standings, with 74 points from 31 games. Liverpool have 73 points from 31 games and will face Manchester United on Tuesday night. For the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool, Pep Guardiola made many changes to his starting XI. However, he will field his strongest side against Brighton & Hove Albion, who visit the Etihad Stadium after victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
Manchester City have been one of the top teams when it comes to playing passes through the opposition’s line of defence. They have the second-highest number of successful through passes in the league. Meanwhile, Brighton have a very low number of successful through passes in the league.
Joao Cancelo has been the highest threat creator for Manchester City as he has generated the highest threat so far with his passes. He has a tally of six assists so far in the league and has generated a high xT from his passes in the final third. Phil Foden has generated a high xT from the corners he has attempted for the Cityzens.
Manchester City’s defence has looked weak in recent games, and it’s no surprise that the solid presence of Ruben Dias has been greatly missed. The Portuguese international has recovered full fitness and will almost certainly start against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Brighton & Hove Albion have gained momentum at the perfect time. Graham Potter’s team were in a bad position until they won both games in North London. They had lost six of their previous seven games prior to their encounter against Arsenal, but they are currently unbeaten in their past three. The Seagulls won 2-1 at the Emirates with goals from Leandro Trossard and Enock Mwepu, and a 90th-minute Trossard strike was enough to secure all three points against Spurs.
The above visual shows us the xT and xG timelines from Brighton’s game against the Spurs. Both timelines indicate that Brighton completely outplayed Tottenham as they generated a higher xT as well as xG from their attempts on goal. Spurs did not have a single shot on target, whereas Brighton had four shots on target.
Pascal Gross has been Brighton’s chief creator, as the midfielder has generated the highest xT from the passes and set-pieces he has attempted. He has an xT of 4.072 from the corners he has taken for the Seagulls.
Manchester City will be motivated to win this game by all means possible, as they have gone winless in their last three matches in all competitions. They will be desperate to respond to their FA Cup semi-final loss and also keep Liverpool behind them on the Premier League table.
Manchester City predicted starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Silva, Sterling.
Brighton predicted starting lineup:
Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Cucurella; Lamptey, Caicedo, Lallana, Gross, Trossard; Mwepu; Mac Allister.