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    Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester City *** Official Match Thread ***


    22 Not allowed!



    Brighton v Man City


    PREMIER LEAGUE

    Venue: The American Express Community Stadium
    Date: Saturday 12th August 2017
    Kick-off: 17:30 BST
    Referee: Michael Oliver
    Assistants: Simon Bennett, Constantine Hatzidakis
    Fourth official: Stuart Attwell



    TEAM NEWS


    Brighton will assess winger Anthony Knockaert, who is close to a return after injuring ankle ligaments in July.

    New signings Davy Propper, Mat Ryan, Pascal Gross and Markus Suttner could feature but Beram Kayal and Sam Baldock are both ruled out.

    Manchester City may give debuts to Kyle Walker, Danilo and Ederson but Benjamin Mendy is out with a thigh problem.

    Fellow new recruit Bernardo Silva is available but he could lack match fitness after an extended summer break.


    MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES

    Jonathan Pearce: "Living 10 minutes away from the Amex Stadium, I've witnessed at close hand the Sussex buzz since promotion.

    "But Brighton fans know it will be a hard slog to stay up - starting with this beast of an opener. Manchester City have spent more this summer on full-backs alone than it cost to build the Amex!

    "Anthony Knockaert needs to be fit and flying as soon as possible. Glenn Murray needs to show age is no barrier to scoring at any level.

    "Pep Guardiola is piecing together a squad capable of playing his way, with the arrival of three quick defenders and the brilliant Bernardo Silva.

    "They should have enough to ruin Brighton's party but they need more defensive strengthening to win the league."


    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

    Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton on Manchester City:
    "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."

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: "Hopefully next season I will be here. If so, we won't spend like this season, I assure you of that.

    "The club never bought full-backs in seven years. Man City had one of the oldest teams in Europe. The market is what it is."


    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    • Brighton's last home game in the top flight was a 1-0 defeat by Manchester City on 7 May 1983.
    • The most recent league fixture between the clubs was on 1 April 1989, when Brighton won 2-1 at the Goldstone Ground in the old Division Two.
    • Brighton knocked City out of the League Cup on penalties in 2008 following a 2-2 draw at the Withdean Stadium. Current Seagulls striker Glenn Murray scored in that match, while Vincent Kompany started for the visitors.


    Brighton & Hove Albion

    • The Seagulls have won their opening league fixture just once in the last five seasons (D1, L3).
    • The only previous top-flight campaign in which Brighton began with a victory was 1980-81, when they beat Wolves 2-0 at home.
    • The Amex Stadium will be the 56th different stadium to host a Premier League match. Only one of the last eight teams debuting in the Premier League has lost their opening home match (Bournemouth in 2015).
    • The Seagulls kept 21 clean sheets in last season's Championship, more than any other side.
    • Anthony Knockaert was directly involved in more league goals than any other Championship midfielder in 2016-17, with 15 goals and eight assists.
    • New signing Pascal Gross created an unrivalled 98 chances in the Bundesliga last season, although he ended with just four assists as Ingolstadt were relegated.


    Manchester City

    • City claimed 12 away wins last season, their highest total in a Premier League campaign.
    • They have won their opening league match in each of the past six seasons, with Sergio Aguero scoring a total of five goals in those games.
    • Aguero has scored against 29 of his 30 previous Premier League opponents, with Bolton the only exception.
    • He has scored in his last six Premier League away games - the record in the division is Robin van Persie's total of nine in 2011.
    • Gabriel Jesus has scored seven goals and provided four assists in eight Premier League starts for City.


    Chris Hughton Full Pre-Match Press Conference - Brighton v Manchester City - Premier League

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