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Brighton preview

Contrasting fortunes for both sides heading into this game, as whilst we head down to Brighton buoyant on the back of a 6-0 thrashing of Portsmouth, Brighton, on the other hand, come into the tie on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Walsall – who were reduced to nine men with an hour of the game remaining, something Micky Adams readily acknowledged:

"The disappointment of Saturday has to take care of itself.
There's no time to sulk. It's going to be a strong Man City side - even if you
look at their bench. It's a big ask for us but we've got a chance."

Given that next week we face the second leg against AC Omonia sandwiched between the games against Wigan and Liverpool, I think it is certain that Mark Hughes will seize the opportunity to give the night off to those players who have featured regularly so far.

Expect then the likes of Schmeichel, Glauber, Ben Haim, Gelson, Johnson, Etuhu, Sturridge and Evans to start, and whilst we have slipped up on more than one occasion in the past at this stage of the competition, with the big guns likely to be on the bench, we should be able to weather anything Brighton can throw at us.

The Carling Cup has had a renaissance of sorts in recent times, with some of the sides who used to treat the competition with little more than disdain, now seeming to take the competition more seriously.

This season we do have plenty on our plate – particularly if we secure our passage to the group stages in the UEFA Cup, but a victory here gives us a 3rd round tie against Derby, which is evidently winnable, we have the platform at least to make a good run at going deep this year.

Prediction. 3-1 to City. A comfortable nights work.