In what could be a pivotal week in the Premier League title race, Pep Guardiola’s champions face a potentially tricky trip to the Amex Stadium. We look ahead to Thursday’s game with our Brighton vs Manchester City prediction and preview.

Brighton vs Manchester City Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer makes Manchester City firm favourites for Thursday’s game, giving them a 57.4% chance of beating Brighton and Hove Albion (17.8%).
  • City are unbeaten in 17 Premier League games, last enjoying a longer run in a single season between November 2020 and March 2021 (19 games). They won the title that campaign.
  • Against no other side has Phil Foden scored more Premier League goals than he has versus Brighton (six). His next goal will be his 50th in the competition overall.

Match Preview

Having put their UEFA Champions League woes behind them to reach a second successive FA Cup final on Saturday, Manchester City turn their attention back to an enthralling Premier League title race. The destination of the trophy is in the champions’ hands, but taking to the field after their rivals will ratchet up the pressure as they make the trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Thursday.

With City busy at Wembley Stadium, teeing up another FA Cup final showdown with neighbours Manchester United, wins for Arsenal and Liverpool at the weekend saw Guardiola’s men slip one point behind their rivals in the table, albeit having played fewer games.

At the start of a week containing two fixtures for each of the three contenders, City were still seen as overwhelming favourites to retain their crown, the Opta supercomputer giving them a 61.8% chance of topping the pile to Arsenal’s 22.5% and Liverpool’s 15.7%.

Just three days after going the distance with Real Madrid, Guardiola hit out at the packed nature of the schedule and said he couldn’t comprehend how City “survived” their FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea, who were beaten by Bernardo Silva’s late strike.

Julián Álvarez led the line for City with Erling Haaland sidelined by a minor injury, and it remains to be seen whether the Premier League’s joint-leading scorer will be fit for Thursday’s match.

Since Haaland joined the club at the start of last season, City have won seven of the nine league games in which he hasn’t appeared (77.8%) compared to 43 of 61 in which he has (70.5%). Perhaps predictably, they average slightly fewer goals per game without Haaland (2.3) than with him (2.4).

The last league game Haaland missed was a 4-1 thrashing of Aston Villa earlier this month, in which Phil Foden stepped up with a hat-trick. City also have a concern over the England international after he missed training this week, but he will be desperate to face his favourite opponents.

Against no side has Foden scored more Premier League goals than he has versus Brighton, his six goals in meetings with the Seagulls coming in his last seven appearances against them. His next goal in the competition will be his 50th overall.

Phil Foden Premier League goals

If City are depleted in attack, Kevin De Bruyne’s importance will only be heightened. Seven of the Belgian’s nine Premier League goal involvements this season have come in his six away appearances – all three of his goals, plus four assists. He is averaging a goal contribution every 43 minutes on the road in the Premier League this term.

Hosts Brighton have not been in action since 13 April, when a dreadful error from Burnley goalkeeper Arijanet Muric ensured they salvaged a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor. Entering this set of midweek fixtures six points adrift of the top seven, Brighton look unlikely to secure a return to European football, but a third straight top-half finish is certainly within their sights.

Roberto De Zerbi’s men have also troubled City in the not-too-distant past, earning a 1-1 draw in this exact fixture last season through Julio Enciso’s wondergoal. Arsenal and Liverpool will take encouragement from that, but the Seagulls have not exactly been soaring in recent weeks.

Since thrashing Sheffield United 5-0 in February, Brighton have only scored four goals in seven Premier League games, failing to win any of their last four (two draws, two losses).

They have taken 14 points from 13 Premier League outings in 2024 (three wins, five draws, five defeats). Between the turn of the year and 23 April, only Everton, Burnley (both 12), Luton Town (10), Sheffield United (seven) and Nottingham Forest (six) picked up fewer points in the competition.

Selection issues have not helped De Zerbi’s cause in recent weeks, and the likes of Pervis Estupiñán, Tariq Lamptey and Evan Ferguson are doubts for Thursday’s game, which will likely also come too soon for Billy Gilmour, James Milner and Adam Webster.

If Brighton are to prevent their season from fizzling out, João Pedro could have a key role to play following his return to fitness. The Brazilian has 19 goals across all competitions this season, a figure only bettered by seven Premier League players; Haaland (31), Ollie Watkins (26), Mohamed Salah (24), Cole Palmer (23), Foden (22), Alexander Isak (21) and Dominic Solanke (20).

Brighton vs Manchester City Head-to-Head

Man City have won 11 of their 13 Premier League games against Brighton (one draw, one defeat). However, each of the Seagulls’ four points earned against the Citizens have come in their last three home meeting with them (one win, one draw, one loss).

De Zerbi’s men have only kept five clean sheets in the Premier League this season, and a sixth looks unlikely here. City have scored in all 13 of their previous Premier League meetings with Brighton, with Bournemouth (14 times) the only team they have faced more often in the competition while scoring in every game.

However, a midweek clash might represent something of a good omen for the hosts. The only two occasions on which City have failed to beat Brighton in the Premier League have come in midweek games at the Amex.

Guardiola’s men lost 3-2 on the south coast on a Tuesday in May 2021, before drawing 1-1 on a Wednesday last May, though they had already been crowned champions before both encounters.

Álvarez and Haaland were on target as City won October’s reverse fixture 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium, with Ansu Fati scoring for Brighton before Manuel Akanji was sent off in second-half stoppage time.

Man City v Brighton stats

Recent Form

City approach Thursday’s game on a 17-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, winning 13 and drawing four.

They last enjoyed a longer unbeaten run within a single season between November 2020 and March 2021, when they went 19 without defeat en route to the title.

Guardiola’s men have also won a remarkable 17 of their 19 midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) games during the last three Premier League seasons, the exceptions being their 1-1 draw at the Amex last May and a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa in December.

Brighton, meanwhile, were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal in their last home Premier League game, ending a 12-match unbeaten run at the Amex in the competition (six wins, six draws).

They last lost consecutive home league games in November and December 2022 – which included a defeat to Arsenal – and were most recently beaten in successive home league matches in the same calendar month in March 2022.

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 Thursday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Brighton vs Manchester City Predicted Lineups

Brighton predicted lineup vs Manchester City
Manchester City predicted lineup vs Brighton

Brighton vs Manchester City Prediction

The Opta supercomputer makes City firm favourites to keep the title race in their hands on Thursday.

Across 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off, the champions won 57.4%, with Brighton victorious in 17.8% and the remaining 24.8% finishing level.

While the supercomputer makes City clear favourites to retain their title, Brighton are viewed as outsiders in the hunt for Europe, only securing a top-seven finish in 4.5% of our season simulations. They finish ninth in a league-high 28.8% of scenarios, and 10th in 24.7%.

Brighton vs Manchester City prediction

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