Image copyright: Getty Images
2023/24 English Premier League
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion
Saturday, 21 October 2023
Kick-off is at 16h00
Manchester City will have a fight on their hands as they attempt to arrest a two-match losing streak in the Premier League
against Brighton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, October 21.
The Citizens looked in ominous form at the start of the season, winning their opening six matches before a 2-1 loss to Wolves at Molineux ended their perfect record.
Arsenal then inflicted a second consecutive defeat on Pep Guardiola's side on October 8 - the first time they had lost back-to-back games in the league since December 2018.
As a result, City dropped to third in the standings, two points adrift of Tottenham (1st) and the Gunners (2nd), while Liverpool (4th) failed to capitalise on their slip-up after being held to a 2-2 draw by the Seagulls (6th) to remain a point behind the defending champions.
Image copyright: Getty Images
It was a good response from Albion, who had been on the receiving end of a 6-1 mauling by Aston Villa the previous weekend - their biggest defeat since returning to the Premier League in 2017-18.
The two goals against the Reds meant that Roberto De Zerbi's side are still the highest scorers (21) in the top flight after eight matches, one ahead of Newcastle.
Rodri was solely missed against Wanderers and the Gunners, having served a suspension for his red card in the 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest. The Spain international has been integral for City in the holding midfield role, providing the link between defence and attack, and his absence was noticeable in the last two games.
Alamy Stock Photo
Kaoru Mitoma has flourished under the guidance of De Zerbi, becoming an important member of the team since the Italian replaced Graham Potter at the helm in September 2022. The Japanese winger scored seven goals in his first season in England's top flight and has already found the back of the net three times in eight appearances this term.
Bernardo Silva was asked to play in the holding role against Arsenal and he stressed how important it is for the players to share the responsibility in the absence of the likes of Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne.
"I'm not going to lie and say that they (Rodrigo and De Bruyne) aren't important players, of course they are," Silva said. "Over the last few years Kevin and Rodri have been two of the most important players on the team.
"It's also true that over the last seven years, this team has always been able to react to injuries to important players. So, we have to improve, those of us who are playing, and it doesn't matter if that's Kevin, Rodri, Ruben, whoever.
"We have to be ready to play the best game possible and win matches. So, we have to look at where we can improve and do so."
Solly March insists there is still much more to come from Brighton despite declaring their first-half performance against Liverpool as their best football of the campaign.
"I think the first 40 minutes was up there with one of our best spells of the season, but it comes down to managing the game," March said. "With five minutes to go until half-time you want to go in 1-0 up. Going down 2-1 was a bit of a killer to be honest, so to get back into the game – and with chances to win at the end – it was a good point ultimately.
"To be in the top six, in Europe and playing all these extra games... I don't think we've even reached our full potential yet or even played as well as we did last year at times. So we're just going to get better. We'll keep training hard, managing the games and I think we'll be even better for that."
Head-to-Head (Last Five Premier League Meetings)
Matches - 5
Man City - 3
Brighton - 1
Draws - 1
Premier League Matchday 9 fixtures:
Saturday, October 21
13h30: Liverpool v Everton
16h00: Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers
16h00: Brentford v Burnley
16h00: Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion
16h00: Newcastle United v Crystal Palace
16h00: Nottingham Forest v Luton Town
18h30: Chelsea v Arsenal
21h00: Sheffield United v Manchester United
Sunday, October 22
17h30: Aston Villa v West Ham United
Monday, October 23
21h00: Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham
Bet on the English Premier League
Kick off your sports betting journey & place a winning bet with our exciting Sports Welcome Offer where you’ll get up to R1,000 as a Free Bet when you make your first deposit.
Stand to win big with Live Games
Enjoy your favourite Live Casino Games from as little as R1 per bet with massive winning potential of up to R5 million on some selected games. Unlock all your favourite Live Games today and take a seat at your favourite tables to take on the dealer head-on.
For all the latest sports news, betting tips and promotions follow Betway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Download the Betway App.