In the penultimate match of the top flight season, champion Manchester City will play Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium after winning their third consecutive Premier League title.
In the rematch seven months ago, the Citizens defeated the Seagulls 3-1 at home thanks to goals from Erling Braut Haaland (2) and Kevin De Bruyne.
The Seagulls of Brighton & Hove Albion, who defeated their destined south coast rivals Southampton 3-1, soared to secure their first ever appearance in European competition for the 2023/24 season with two Premier League (PL) games remaining thanks to a useful double from Evan Ferguson. Just one more point will guarantee that the UEFA Europa League will be the European competition. However it would take two losses for Brighton and a significant change in goal differential for Aston Villa to clip their wings at this juncture.
After a strong ten game home PL record (W7, D1, L2), Roberto De Zerbi’s team may be buoyed to further victory at a rocking Amex Stadium, but facing treble chasing Manchester City is enough to instill terror in the hearts of any team. In reality, Brighton has lost every single Premier League head to head match since their promotion (W1, L10), and despite alternating between wins and losses over their past five games of the season (W3, L2), that lack of draws may continue.
On Saturday, Nottingham Forest ensured their survival with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal, but maybe more significantly, it confirmed City’s third consecutive Premier League triumph. With the help of an unlikely triple, Pep Guardiola is attempting to solidify his status as one of the greatest managers of all time. However, there are still two Premier League games left before the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
With a 1-0 victory over Chelsea to cap up their home season, the Cityzens have nothing left to play for but four points and the title of Premier League’s best away team. While City has won each of their past five PL road trips, they have lost five of their last six away league games against teams in the top eight (W1, D2, L3), so securing those points is far from inevitable.
The weekend saw Brighton’s Ferguson further establish himself as the highest scoring teenager in the Premier League this year. He now has at least twice as many goals as his closest rival (G6). In terms of City, Julián lvarez scored their 100th competitive home goal of the season on Sunday. Considering that three of his previous four league goals were scored away from home, he’ll be hoping to add another goal to his tally as he sees more action in the season’s final weeks.
Solly March, Adam Lallana (both hamstring), Tariq Lamptey, Jakub Moder (both knee), and Jeremy Sarmiento (ankle) are all out for Brighton due to injury, while Adam Webster is available to play again but will start as a substitute after recovering from a muscular issue.
Robert Sanchez, the goalkeeper, has missed the last three games due to a mutual decision to stay at home. On Wednesday, Jason Steele will start in his place.
A solid lineup is anticipated to be chosen, though the Seagulls manager will think about refreshing his team in a few areas. De Zerbi is eager to earn at least one more point to ensure Europa League football for next season.
Ferguson may be replaced by Danny Welbeck despite having just returned from injury and scored two goals against Southampton. Joel Veltman may also be replaced by one of Gross or Moises Caicedo at right back, either early on or as the game progresses.
Guardiola made nine changes to Man City’s starting lineup on Sunday after the squad had been declared champions the previous day, but the Catalan manager is anticipated to call up a number of his first team regulars on Wednesday in order to keep them in match shape.
The only remaining injury concern for the Citizens is Nathan Ake, and even though the defender is getting closer to recovering from a hamstring issue, Guardiola does not want to take a chance on him before two significant finals next month.
In addition to the defensive trio of Ederson, Ruben Dias, and John Stones, midfielders Rodri, Gundogan, and De Bruyne may also be called upon in place of Kalvin Phillips, Cole Palmer, and Phil Foden.
While Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva, and Riyad Mahrez are all expected to compete for a spot on the flanks, Premier League leading scorer Haaland may be chosen to start down the center ahead of Alvarez.
Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup
Steele, Veltman, Dunk, Colwill, Estupinan, Gross, Caicedo, Buonanotte, Mac Allister, Mitoma and Welbeck.
Manchester City possible starting lineup
Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Stones, Rodri, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish and Haaland.
We predict: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Manchester City
Man City’s performance against Chelsea on Sunday was hardly tested, but they might face a tougher test against a Brighton team that is almost certain to win a Europa League spot.
In their final home game of the season, the Seagulls could pick up a point from an intriguing match, despite the Citizens perhaps recalling some of its key players to the starting lineup.