[dropcap]P[/dropcap]lenty of attractive fixtures on the first weekend of Premier League action and Brighton v Man City is definitely towards the top.
Will it be third time lucky for City who were beaten by Brighton in 1989 and drew with them in the Carling Cup in 2008 !!
Plenty of water has passed under the bridge in the 17 subsequent years and Brighton, like Bournemouth bring a little smaller team romance to the top flight. There must be something in that sea air.
They climbed out of the notoriously tough Championship last season with an automatic pass – finishing just a point behind champions Newcastle. Brighton scored 74 goals over the season – averaging 1.6 per game.
Man City finished the season in third place – 15 points adrift of Chelsea which has to be seen as a disappointment for all the millions sunk into them.
Pep Guardiola will be anxious to get off to a flyer and his side have a reasonable start to the season, on paper, with Brighton, Everton and Bournemouth their first three rivals.
They went 10 from 10 in their opening games of last season (all competitions) before hitting a flat spot of six games without a win including a Premier League loss to Spurs. City are definitely a ‘momentum’ team who have looked good pre-season, a fact not lost on Brighton boss Chris Hughton.
He said: “They’ve been outstanding in pre-season, and if we’re looking at a team gelling and showing the quality that they have, they have definitely shown that already.
“For us, we’re up against top-class opposition that will have more possession than we do. It’s going to be a very tough opening game, but we have to play them at some stage.
“It’s a wonderful game for the club and supporters, as a first game in the Premier League, but we have to make sure it’s a good day for the team as well.”
New signings Davy Propper, Mat Ryan, Pascal Gross and Markus Suttner could feature for Brighton who have an injury concern with winger Anthony Knockaert.
Brighton will give it everything in their first top flight game for 34 years but their bigger tests will come later in the season against the lower ranked clubs.
Brighton & Hove Albion v Man City
17:30 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 4K UHD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
Sep 2008 CARLING CUP Brighton 2-2 Man City
Apr 1989 DIV 2 (OLD) Brighton 2-1 Man City
Sep 1988 DIV 2 (OLD) Man City 2-1 Brighton
Feb 1985 DIV 2 (OLD) Man City 2-0 Brighton
Nov 1984 DIV 2 (OLD) Brighton 0-0 Man City
Mar 1984 DIV 2 (OLD) Brighton 1-1 Man City
Nov 1983 DIV 2 (OLD) Man City 4-0 Brighton
May 1983 DIV 1 (OLD) Brighton 0-1 Man City
Jan 1983 FA CUP Brighton 4-0 Man City
Dec 1982 DIV 1 (OLD) Man City 1-1 Brighton
Brighton holding Man City to a draw at HT but struggling in the second half is a likely scenario at around 3/1 with Star Sports and I’ll also have an interest on both teams to score at around evens.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK DRAW/CITY HT/FT 5 points win at 3/1 with Star Sports
BACK BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE 7.5 points win at evens with Star Sports
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: LOSS 0.85 points