Manchester City welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, eager to put the disappointment of defeat, and the furore surrounding other issues of that match, firmly behind them as they look to keep in touch with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.
The blues lost a feisty match at Anfield after seeing a Phil Foden goal disallowed, before Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of the game with a composed finish that looked to have been controlled with his arm before finishing.
Brighton spent some of their early season in the top four and, even though they have dropped in the table, are having a respectable season despite losing manager Graham Potter to Chelsea. Here, we take a look at The Seagulls season so far, their star players and the new boss, hoping to take Brighton into Europe.
After a decent start, which saw them win three of their opening four fixtures, Brighton have gone four games without victory. Their last three points came in a 5-2 home win over Leicester City at the beginning of September. The Seagulls started in amazing fashion, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford on the opening weekend and, despite a goalless draw at home to Newcastle, won 2-0 at West Ham in the following match. A 1-0 home win over Leeds United saw them hit third place in the table, level on points with City and just two behind Arsenal.
Despite a 2-1 loss at Fulham, their win over Leicester saw them remain in the top four and still within touching distance of the leaders. Sadly for the Seagulls, two postponed matches meant they didn’t play again until their visit to Anfield at the beginning of October. Brighton raced into a 2-0 lead, but allowed the Mersey reds to get back into the match to eventually lead 3-2. However, Leandro Trossard completed a hat-trick in the 83rd minute to give the Seagulls a share of the spoils.
Two successive defeats at home to Spurs (0-1) and away to Brentford (0-2) and a goalless draw at home to Nottingham Forest has seen Brighton drop to eighth in the league. More worryingly, the Seagulls have failed to score in three matches and have scored just eight goals in five matches. Cause for concern possibly for the new boss.
Who to watch
With five goals to his name this season, Leandro Trossard is Brighton’s main threat, averaging a goal every two games. He has featured in all ten Premier League games so far this season, has a shot accuracy of 64% and a goal conversion rate of 36%. He has attempted 14 shots, the highest of all Brighton players. Alex MacAllister has hit four from ten matches, while Pascal Groß has three, two of which came on the opening day against United.
Groß has been busy creating chances though and has three assists so far. He has created 20 chances from his 10 matches, an average of two chances per game, and has attempted the most passes from the Brighton side with 357. From those, he has completed 274, giving him a pass accuracy of 83%.
Former United striker Danny Welbeck also has two assists and has created 11 chances and, with 82%, has the highest pass accuracy percentage from Brighton’s first-team regulars. Trossard has also weighed in with an assist, but has also created 16 chances from ten games.
Who’s the boss?
Roberto De Zerbi arrived AMEX Stadium in September following the surprise dismissal of Thomas Tuchel. De Zerbi was previously the head coach at Shahktar Donetsk but left in July following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
De Zerbi is yet to win a match as Brighton boss, drawing and losing two of his four games in charge. Obviously, his win ration is currently zero.