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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ALBION V MANCHESTER CITY

9 August 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Glenn Murray leads the way in training.

Brighton & Hove Albion welcome Manchester City to the Amex on Saturday evening, in what will be a momentous day for the club, as the Seagulls play their first-ever game in the Premier League.

Chris Hughton’s new-look squad, which includes a number of summer signings, will come up against the 2012 and 2014 Premier League champions, led by former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola.

After joining from PSV Eindhoven on Monday, Davy Propper could make his first appearance for Seagulls, while Izzy Brown, Markus Suttner, Pascal Gross and Mathew Ryan are also available to make their league debut.

Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray both featured for Albion’s under-23s in midweek, as the pair collected valuable game time before this weekend’s long-awaited Premier League opener.

Hughton has two injuries to the squad ahead of the club's first game in the Premier League, with Sam Baldock still sidelined after having surgery on his calf this summer, and Beram Kayal expected to be out for up to 12 weeks after sustaining a small fracture to his fibula.

Manchester City are likely to be without Ilkay Gundogan, who damaged a cruciate ligament in December, but the midfielder is closing in on a return from injury.

New signings Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Ederson, Danilo and Bernardo Silva could all make their league debuts after moving to the Etihad Stadium this summer.

PRE-SEASON FORM:

ALBION: The Seagulls opened their pre-season schedule with three consecutive away victories, as they started with a 2-0 success against Fortuna Dusseldorf in Austria, with Tomer Hemed and Jamie Murphy on the scoresheet.

Hughton’s team blew away Crawley Town at the Checkatrade.com Stadium, with goals from Solly March, Pascal Gross, Hemed, Connor Goldson and Murphy securing an emphatic 5-0 win.

March added to his pre-season tally with two brilliant strikes against Southend United at Roots Hall, before Glenn Murray added a third to round off a 3-0 victory.

Back-to-back away draws followed, with Gross scoring in a 1-1 stalemate against Norwich City, before Albion played out a goalless draw against La Liga newcomers Girona in Spain.

Albion’s pre-season preparations ended with a narrow defeat against the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid at the Amex, with Gross and Steve Sidwell scoring equalising goals, before the Spaniards scored late on to win 3-2.

MAN CITY: The Blues came up against three Premier League rivals throughout pre-season and recorded an impressive victory over the back-to-back Champions League winners Real Madrid.

Guardiola’s team began their pre-season with a 2-0 defeat to arch rivals Manchester United in Houston, but 17-year-old Phil Foden made quite an impression as he delivered a mature performance in midfield.

City bounced back with a stunning 4-1 triumph over Madrid in Los Angeles, as goals from Nicolas Otamendi, Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Brahim Diaz led them to a first International Champions Cup victory.

Stones, Sterling and Diaz were all on the scoresheet again when City overcame Premier League opponents Tottenham Hotspur, before travelling to Iceland to seal another 3-0 win, but this time over West Ham United.

Sterling found the back of the net for a third consecutive game, with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus notching their first goals of pre-season, before City turned their attentions to Saturday’s fixture at the Amex.


LAST TIME OUT:

ALBION 2
Gross 61
Sidwell 77

ATLETICO DE MADRID 3
Gaitan 43
Torres 67
Hernandez 88


MAN CITY 3
Jesus 8
Aguero 56
Sterling 70

WEST HAM 0


PLAYER TO WATCH: Sergio Aguero

The Argentinian striker joined City from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has scored 169 goals in 253 appearances for the Manchester club.

Aguero has been prolific since moving to the Premier League, with arguably his most-memorable moment coming in 2012, when his 94th-minute goal against Queens Park Rangers snatched the league title out of Manchester United’s grasp.

The forward has scored 20 Premier League goals or more in each of the last three seasons, with his 26-goal tally earning him the Golden Boot award for the 2014/15 season.


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