The last time Brighton & Hove Albion were part of England’s top flight, it was 1983, and their final home match of that season was against Manchester City. Brighton lost 1-0, and despite their victory, City ended up relegated to the second division along with Brighton. City went up quickly after and have won two Premier League titles since that day, but Brighton had to wait a while before coming up again.
34 years later, under the competent guidance of manager Chris Hughton, Brighton return to the top flight and make their Premier League debut at home against Manchester City. The historical coincidence makes this a very interesting game, and the Seagulls will hope to avoid another loss and start their first ever Prem season with a victory in front of their home fans.
For City, this is a crucial season. The club once again spent a lot of money in the summer and brought in some great reinforcements, especially at the back, and with a much younger and improved squad in comparison to last season, the Blues will hope to finally win a title under Pep Guardiola.
A win in one of the toughest grounds they’ll play at this season will be a very good way to start a potential title-winning campaign, for sure. Can City do it?
MATCH INFO, TV/STREAMING
Date/Time: Saturday, August 12, 2017, 5:30pm BST (UK), 12:30pm ET, 9:30am PT (USA), 10pm IST (India)
Venue: The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton & Hove, England
Referee: Michael Oliver
Television: BT Sport 1 (UK), NBC (USA), SuperSport 3 (Nigeria), Star Sports Select HD1 (India), TSN5 (Canada), elsewhere
(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)
Pep Guardiola has a very healthy squad ahead of the season opener: only Ilkay Gundogan and new signing Benjamin Mendy are injured, but they’re very close to returning to action. Three summer signings are likely to feature in the starting lineup: Éderson Moraes, Kyle Walker and Danilo Luiz all shone in preseason and Pep hopes to see their form continue in the competitive matches.
Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus will start up top, and we’ll likely see a back three of Vincent Kompany, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi. The 3-5-2 been the default formation all preseason, and the team played very well with that system. We’ll probably see it again at The Amex, and hopefully the result is also good.
Ryan; Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Suttner; Skálák, Stephens, Gross, March; Pröpper; Murray
Manchester City (3-1-4-2)
Éderson; Kompany, Stones, Otamendi; Touré; Walker, De Bruyne, Silva, Danilo; Agüero, G.Jesus
The season will start with a tough game, but a big win: 3-1 City.