Brighton v Man City: Champions to maintain 100% record against Seagulls

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola is likely to change his line-up again with the Champions League final drawing near

Andrew Atherley says the champions can win again in entertaining style...

"City have scored at least two goals in 21 games (matched only by Leicester) and clearly the potential is there for over 2.5 goals almost every time they play. That has been seen with increasing regularity as the season has gone on."

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Back Manchester City to win with over 2.5 match goals at 5/4 with Betfair Sportsbook

Brighton v Man City
Tuesday 18 May, 19:00
Live on BT Sport

Limited options for Potter

Brighton are looking forward to a fifth consecutive season in the Premier League after securing safety again and are set for a similar finishing position as last season, when they were 15th with 41 points.

With two games to play, Graham Potter's side have 38 points following Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to West Ham.

Lewis Dunk and Neal Maupay are still suspended and Potter's options are limited further by injury doubts over Davy Propper and Joel Veltman.

Maupay has been part of a promising front three with Danny Welbeck and Leandro Trossard, but in his absence Potter is likely to turn to Alireza Jahanbakhsh again.

Guardiola heavy on rotation

With the title secured, Manchester City minds are turning to the Champions League final the weekend after next and Pep Guardiola will be rotating his squad again here and in Sunday's last Premier League match against Everton.

Only three of City's last Champions League side started the highly entertaining 4-3 win at Newcastle on Friday, when Ferran Torres stole the show with his hat-trick, and Guardiola might change again to give game time to the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte.

Sergio Aguero missed the Newcastle match due to an unspecified issue and Guardiola could stick with the same front three of Torres, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus.

Kevin de Bruyne has not featured in either of City's last two Premier League matches and is unlikely to be risked.

Open game in prospect

Brighton put up a good fight in the reverse fixture, losing 1-0 to Phil Foden's 44th-minute goal, and that is part of a reasonable W1 D4 L6 record against the top six this season.

However, the one win on that record came at Liverpool (1-0) in February when the reigning champions were at a low ebb and there is little to suggest an upset victory here, bar the possibility of City taking their foot off the gas.

City have been full-on in previous matches against Brighton, winning all seven meetings in the Premier League plus another in the FA Cup semi-finals two seasons ago.

Brighton have failed to score in six of those eight matches in all competitions and another City win to nil here is 2.427/5.

City have won six of the eight meetings by two or more goals and Guardiola's side are 2.466/4 off -1.5 on the Asian handicap to secure that type of winning margin again.

While a City win is hard to oppose on hard form, there is a chink of hope for Brighton in the champions' performance against Newcastle after the title had been secured.

Letting in so many goals in one match is almost unheard of for City (the only other time it has happened this season was back in September when they were torn apart by Leicester's counter-attacking in a 5-2 home defeat) and there might be a lack of focus that Brighton can exploit.

Both teams to score is worth considering at 1.9720/21 and win to nil backers might be on shaky ground if the champions leave themselves open again.

Given that possibility, and with City still strongly fancied, a decent option is City to win with over 2.5 match goals at 5/4 with Betfair Sportsbook.

That has happened in 14 of their 26 league wins this season, including eight out of 14 on the road, and backing at odds-against looks reasonable.

Rising goals totals for City

On the wide statistics over 2.5 goals is not a sure-fire favourite at 1.814/5.

These sides sit close together in the goals table, with City having had 53% under 2.5 goals and Brighton 56%, albeit for contrasting reasons.

Brighton are not a high-scoring side and generally play a tight game, whereas City go hunting for goals and it is their suffocating superiority that limits goals by their opponents.

City have scored at least two goals in 21 games (matched only by Leicester) and clearly the potential is there for over 2.5 goals almost every time they play.

That has been seen with increasing regularity as the season has gone on. In the first half of the campaign (19 games), when City were slow to find top gear, only six matches went over 2.5 goals (32%).

Since then the figure for over 2.5 goals has doubled to 65% and that looks the more likely outcome here given City's high-level form.

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