Only Brighton and Hove Albion stand in the way of back-to-back Premier League titles for Manchester City when the two sides meet at the AMEX Stadium on Sunday afternoon on the final day of the season. Chris Hughton’s men come into this game with their Premier League status ensured for next season, leaving them with the opportunity to spoil the party for the travelling City supporters. Meanwhile, City will look to complete the second part of a potential domestic treble, so long as they can equal or better Liverpool’s result against Wolves at Anfield.
It’s been a disappointing season on the whole for the Seagulls, with their form tailing off extremely alarmingly towards the back end of the campaign. Such form may have Chris Hughton fearing for his job over the summer, having lead Brighton to just two league wins in 13 games since the turn of the year in the Premier League. Currently sat on 36 points, only the ineptitude of Huddersfield, Fulham and Cardiff has prevented this being a game that sees their top-flight status on the line. Still, they can be buoyed by their performance last time out which saw them hold Arsenal to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium thanks to Glenn Murray’s penalty, with the result highlighting their ability to upset the league’s bigger boys. However, Manchester City are a different kettle of fish and Brighton have lost all three of their Premier League meetings with them since the start of last season, as well as losing 1-0 to them in the FA Cup semi-final.
Manchester City know they are overwhelming favourites to be crowned Premier League champions on Sunday afternoon, being as short as 1/10 with most bookmakers to win their second title under Pep Guardiola. Like Liverpool, they have set ludicrous standards this season and a win Sunday would see them finish the campaign with 98 points, just two shy of their record 100-point season achieved just 12 months ago at Southampton. Unlike that day at St. Mary’s, though, they have a viable contender that could still snatch the title from their hands if they are unable to get the result they are after on the south coast. That said, they could hardly have picked a more favourable opponent, with Brighton having nothing to play for and have lost each of the last four meetings between the two teams. The days of ‘typical City’ are over, and an early goal would certainly settle the nerves as they look to make it 18 wins in their 19 games in the second half of the season.
Brighton have three injury absentees from their final game of the season on Sunday, with Jason Steele (wrist), Davy Propper (hamstring) and Jose Izquierdo (knee) all ruled out for the Seagulls. 12-goal striker Glenn Murray is expected to lead the line after his goal against Arsenal last time out, with Chris Hughton being likely to stick with the 4-5-1 formation that worked so effectively at the Emirates.
City will continue to be without key midfielders Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne, both of whom are missing with knee and hamstring problems respectively. That will likely see Ilkay Gundogan and David Silva continuing in midfield, with one of Leroy Sane or Phil Foden included in the starting XI, with Bernardo Silva subsequently playing in the middle or wide depending on the selection.
Manchester City win to nil at 5/6 with Bet365 – Brighton’s home record is not great of late, having failed to score in three fo their last four at the AMEX. Meanwhile, City have won each of their last four games to nil and have conceded one in their last seven Premier League games.
Sergio Aguero to score first at 13/5 with Bet365 – Aguero is always the man for the big occasion and has 20 Premier League goals already this season, including the opening goal in their last away win at Burnley.