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Sky Blue News: City v Brighton Preview, Stones Returns, £1 Billion Baby?, and More...

Matchday headlines from your friends at Bitter and Blue.

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Manchester City Training Session Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

It's Matchday for Manchester City, and this time the Men have a home tilt against Brighton & Hove Albion while the Women travel to Tottenham Hotspur. Sky Blue News has all the latest headlines to get you ready for both matches.

Manchester City vs. Brighton: predicted starting XI - Laura Graves - Man City Square

Laura has her prediction for the Men’s lineup against the Seagulls.

The boys in blue have had a week to get over their loss and prepare for the game ahead after their midweek fixture against Arsenal was postponed so that they could fulfil their Europa League fixture vs. PSV.

The blues have been in excellent form at home so far this season and will hope to build on that after their away day unbeaten run came to an end last weekend.

After getting the last predicted line up spot on, can we avoid being Pepped again, or will there be some surprises? In his press conference ahead of this weekends’ clash, Pep confirmed that Stones will be in the matchday squad after some time out due to injury.

Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion – The Opposition - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue

Pete gives a look at the form the visitors find themselves in.

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.

John Stones Back In Manchester City Training Ahead Of Brighton Clash - Elliot Thompson - City Transfer Room

Stones back on the training pitch is a welcome site to be sure.

City will have an extra defender back in the squad as they welcome Brighton to The Etihad stadium and that is England international John Stones.

The former Everton man has missed the last six games due to a hamstring injury he picked up on international duty in the UEFA Nations League.

Before that injury he had played in all but one game for Manchester City with the 28-year-old even filling in at right-back against Borussia Dortmund and Wolves due to the injury to Kyle Walker.

It will be likely that Stones will not be rushed back into the starting XI straightaway but with the World Cup just a month away he will be hoping to get as many chances as possible to prove his fitness and show his quality which made him a starting centre-back at the last World Cup.

“John Stones will be in the squad tomorrow” - Pep Guardiola pre Brighton Press Conference - Colin Cranmer - City Report

Although he’s likely to be on the bench to start, could we see Stones get some minutes against Brighton?

A short and sweet press conference from the Manchester City boss ahead of the visit of Brighton to the Etihad Stadium this Saturday. Topics discussed included Liverpool rivalry, Roberto De Zerbi, Steven Gerrard, and the latest fitness updates on John Stones, Kyle Walker, and Kalvin Phillips.

Fitness updates:

“John [Stones] has been training the last two days, tommorrow on the [squad] list [against Brighton]. Kalvin [Phillips] is recovering really well. I didn’t speak with doctors about Kyle [Walker]. Hopefully they can help him.”

The first £1bn player?! Haaland’s agent addresses Real Madrid transfer clause & hints forward could sign new Man City contract - Ewan Gennery -

One. Billion. Pounds. Seems like a lot of money, but it is Erling Haaland, God of Thunder.

WHAT HAPPENED? Haaland’s new agent has suggested the Norwegian would be interested in signing a new contract with City, despite only signing for the club this summer. She was also gave little away in regard to a possible release clause in the 22-year-olds contract allowing him to leave the club in 2024.

WHAT SHE SAID: When asked whether Haaland would be open to a new contract, Pimenta told Sky Sports: ”I hope so, if they want to discuss today we would be happy. Why not? All is good.”

She also shrugged off questioning regarding a release clause, or lack of one, that could allow Haaland to leave the club after just two years. Pimenta said: “The good and bad of being a lawyer is that you know what you can and cannot say. You do not need someone poking you going: ‘don’t say this.’ I cannot talk about.”

Erling Haaland’s representative opens door to crunch talks with Manchester City over player’s future - Freddie Pye - City Xtra

City will be keen to rework the deal to fend off potential suitors for Erling.

This week, one of the player’s more senior representatives Rafaela Pimenta sat down for an interview and discussed a number of factors included talk of a new Manchester City contract and the player’s future transfer value.

Manchester City have a tendency to remain on top of contracts within their first-team, and have not been against rewarding players for outstanding performances, regardless of their time at the club.

Ruben Dias is a primary example, with the Portugal international centre-back extending his long-term deal even further after just one year at the club.

Following a sensational start to life at the Etihad Stadium, the question was put to Rafaela Pimenta whether she and Haaland’s team of representatives would be interested in entering talks with Manchester City officials over a new and improved contract.


And finally... Our new Aussie is giving the Ladies some inside info on her former squad.

After picking up our first win of the Barclays Women’s Super League season with a 4-0 victory over Leicester City on Sunday at the City Football Academy, Gareth Taylor’s side will be wanting to follow that up with another positive result at the weekend.

Although Kennedy might not be able to impact proceedings on the field, she admits that she has been giving her teammates the inside track on her former employers.

“It is a bit different this time around being on the sidelines with an injury, from a playing perspective and knowing what to expect from them,” she said.

“I can give the girls here some knowledge on what to do with certain individuals, you learn players when you play with them, so that is always a good thing.

“They have a few attacking threats as well with some young, fast players in there, they are definitely a good team Spurs.

That’s it for now Cityzens. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest throughout the day, and follow @BitterandBlue1 on Twitter.