Two of the Premier League’s top six tussle at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. We look ahead to the game with our data-powered Manchester City vs Brighton prediction and preview.
Manchester City vs Brighton: Quick Hits
- Man City (68.8%) are predicted to beat Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton (11.1%) on Saturday, according to the Opta supercomputer.
- Pep Guardiola’s men are formidable at the Etihad Stadium, winning their last 20 games there in all competitions, a run that started back in January against Chelsea in the FA Cup.
- If Erling Haaland doesn’t score on Saturday, it would be the first time he’s gone three Premier League games without a goal.
Manchester City’s incredible home form could set a new record on Saturday if they beat Brighton at the Etihad Stadium, as they hope to register a 21st successive home victory in all competitions.
A triumph would see them surpass rivals Manchester United as the Premier League side with the most consecutive home wins across all competitions, beating the Red Devils’ run of 20 under Sir Alex Ferguson between December 2010 and September 2011.
There’s every chance it could be a real test, however, taking on a Brighton side sixth in the Premier League after another strong start under Roberto De Zerbi that saw them go into the international break just two points and three places behind last season’s treble winners.
The break may have come at a good time for City, who lost each of their last two Premier League matches, and three of their last four across all competitions. Pep Guardiola has suffered three league losses in a row just once before in his managerial career, with Bayern Munich in 2015, and he will be demanding a response from his players to avoid a repeat.
And for City, history says Brighton at home is a fixture that lends itself to ending such uncharacteristically poor form, winning 10 of their 12 Premier League meetings. The only exceptions were a 3-2 loss in May 2021 and a 1-1 draw in May of this year, both coming after Guardiola’s men had already clinched the title.
In fact, Brighton have never won an away to City in the league in 13 attempts, losing their last nine visits by an aggregate score of 24-3. De Zerbi has his work cut out on Saturday if he’s to become the first Brighton boss to take maximum points from a league game at City; although his team’s start to this season has generally been positive, it’s fair to say they’ve shown erratic tendencies as well.
Brighton are more than capable of finding the back of the net, though De Zerbi is sure to be concerned about the other end with his side both scoring and conceding in all eight of their Premier League games this season. Only two teams have managed that in nine games to kick off their campaign in the competition, including Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City side that famously claimed Premier League glory in the 2015-16 season.
Fans should expect goals in this game then, with the 37 scored in Brighton’s league matches this season the second-most of any side in Europe’s top five leagues behind Granada (38). Four of the 37 came in their last outing, a 2-2 home draw with Liverpool that took them to four consecutive games in all competitions without a win.
Guardiola is set to be boosted by the return of Rodri, a huge relief after City lost all three games of his suspension (including an EFL Cup clash with Newcastle) following a straight red card against Nottingham Forest on 23 September. In the Premier League since 2019, City win 74.3% of their games with Rodri. Without him, their win rate drops to 56.3%.
Rodri aside, the likes of John Stones, Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovačić are all available after recent knocks, though the key absence of Kevin De Bruyne continues to persist, with his return from a hamstring injury unlikely to happen until 2024.
For De Zerbi, Jakub Moder, Julio Enciso and Pervis Estupiñán continue to be long-term absentees, though he will be able to call upon James Milner and Pascal Groß, both of whom were suffering with niggles prior to the international break. Kaoru Mitoma was left out of the Japan squad because of his “physical condition”, but he should be available for Saturday’s game.
Manchester City vs Brighton Head-to-Head
Manchester City have dominated this match-up in recent times, winning all but two of their 13 meetings in all competitions since Brighton were promoted back to the top-flight in 2017 and scoring in 25 of their 26 all-time league games against the south coast side.
Despite that, Brighton fans will have fond memories of their last encounter back in May as Julio Enciso’s stunning equaliser was enough to earn a 1-1 draw against a City side who had already won the Premier League title, a result that confirmed Brighton’s place in this season’s UEFA Europa League.
A player who tends to enjoy this fixture is Phil Foden, scoring in all five of his Premier League starts against Brighton with six goals in those games. In fact, they are the opponent Foden has been involved in the most goals against over his league career (seven).
Man City may have lost back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December 2018, undone at Wolves and then at the Emirates Stadium versus Arsenal, but they’ve never suffered defeat in three straight league games under Guardiola, last doing so under Manuel Pellegrini in February-March 2016.
Brighton have also not been at their best of late, winless in four, though they have picked up solid draws in their last two games, first coming from two goals down to earn a point at Marseille in the Europa League before playing out another 2-2 against Liverpool.
Just one victory across these teams’ last eight combined fixtures means Saturday offers a great opportunity to get back in the win column, one that both managers will be emphasising the importance of ahead of kick-off.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Saturday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Manchester City vs Brighton Prediction
The Opta supercomputer has Manchester City as big favourites to get back on track by beating Brighton on Saturday.
A home win is rated as by far the most likely outcome at 68.8%, though Brighton are given a 20.1% probability of picking up a third straight draw in all competitions. The supercomputer rates an away success at 11.1%.
Despite being third currently, Opta’s 10,000 supercomputer simulations of the Premier League season has City winning the title 73.4% of the time with a 99.5% chance they finish in the Champions League spots. Brighton are predicted to finish seventh, finishing in the top four in 11.3% of simulations.