Manchester City v Brighton: Yaya to sign off in style

Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure will be desperate to get on the scoresheet in his last home appearance for the Citizens.
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It would be no surprise to see the departing Yaya Toure's name on the scoresheet when Manchester City play their final home fixture of the 2017-18 season, says Jamie Pacheco.

"64% of City’s home games have gone over 3.5 goals and not only are City capable of getting those four by themselves but I wouldn’t completely rule out a Brighton goal here, either. Yes, they’ve been goal shy on the road over the course of the season but City have been guilty of conceding even when winning comfortably, something Guardiola will be looking to improve on next season."

Manchester City v Brighton
Wednesday May 9 20:00

Guardiola still set on breaking records

Who saw that one coming? After being arguably the most impressive winner of any Premier League season, Man City went and drew 0-0, at home, to a promoted side who are currently 16th.

On the one hand they looked a little lethargic, misplaced passes and didn't have their shooting boots on. On the other hand they did have almost 80% possession, 12 shots at goal and 10 corners to Huddersfield's one. So make of that what you will.

Pep Guardiola is unlikely to ease up here. He wants to get as many points and goals on the board as possible and make history so should field his strongest side. With one possible exception: Yaya Toure is likely to get a game in what would be his farewell home appearance for City after being a brilliant player for them over the years.

There's still no Sergio Aguero so Gabriel Jesus, who had a quiet game against Hudersfield, is likely to carry on upfront.

Are Brighton the new neutral's favourite?

Lots of neutrals would have been delighted to have seen Brighton beat Manchester United on Friday night. Not just because Jose Mourinho's United aren't that popular with your average football fan but because Chris Hughton's Brighton are. The former Tottenham player is one of football's good guys and Brighton are an honest team who have upset the odds not just to beat the drop into the Championship but to finish in a very creditable position around 14th in the table.

To be fair, Hughton has been pretty fortunate with injuries and there are no new ones ahead of this game, either.

Anthony Knockaert, who has had an inconsistent season, was excellent on Friday night. He'll have learnt from his first season in the Premier League and could be the man to build the team around next season.

Another upset on the cards?

Will lightning strike again and see City denied at home again? Unlikely.

Opta tell us that 0-0 was just the third time that City have failed to score at home since Guardiola has been in charge and if anything, you'd expect a little bit of a backlash after that result on Sunday. City are just 1/9 on the Betfair Sportsbook with another draw chalked up at 9/1 and Brighton out at 25/1.

If you're going for the big upset you'll probably like this stat: 41% of Guardiola's defeats as a Man City manager have come on a Wednesday. Though we should remember that includes matches in the Champions League.


Goals at the Etihad once more

There will be a few goals backers taking a 'once bitten, twice shy' approach this match but I'm not one of them.

This is a new day and a new game for City and I think they'll win it pretty easily. It's also worth remembering that win over Manchester United will have taken a lot out of Brighton's players and they'd be barely human if after the euphoria of staying up in such pleasing circumstances they went out with the same levels of energy and determination all over again.

An astonishing 64% of City's home games have gone over 3.5 goals and not only are City capable of getting those four by themselves but I wouldn't completely rule out a Brighton goal here, either. Yes, they've been goal shy on the road over the course of the season but City have been guilty of conceding even when winning comfortably, something Guardiola will be looking to improve on next season.

Over the last month or so they beat Tottenham, Everton and West Ham scoring ten goals in the process but also conceded in all of those games. Over 3.5 goals is 5/4 on the Betfair Sportsbook and that looks a decent bet.

Say yes to Yaya

Yaya Toure is 10/3 to score here. What a fairytale ending that would be. But leaving aside the emotional side of things, there are good reasons to think that's a pretty decent price.

Yes, his best days are long gone and he hasn't really played much at all over the past two seasons but this is a man with 59 goals for the club. He certainly doesn't have the legs anymore to play in the anchor role here so if he starts, he's likely to play in either Kevin de Bruyne's role or more likely, David Silva's.

That alone should give him a few chances to get into scoring positions but there should be another bonus here for would-be Toure backers. If there's a penalty or free-kick you'd think he'll pull rank here and that his team-mates will be pretty happy to let him have the set piece anyway, after all he's done for the club.

Ref Watch

Paul Tierney has this season refereed games in all of the top four divisions of English football in addition to a handful of FA Cup matches. Over those 30 games he's shown 80 yellows and no reds, which is pretty impressive.

Brighton's most booked player is none other than workhorse strike Glenn Murray, who has nine. Defenders Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy each have seven each. All three might be worth a look in the 'to be shown a card' market.

Staked: 56.5pts
Returned: 50.15pts
P&L: -6.35pts

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