Brighton vs. Man City
Venue: Amex Stadium
Kick off: 3PM
Manchester City take on Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium this afternoon knowing that victory will be enough to earn their second successive Premier League title.
Pep Guardiola however is aware that the club are only one bad result from being left to contemplate a disappointing campaign.
City still have the opportunity to add the FA Cup to their EFL Cup success regardless of what happens today, but the club will be left feeling deflated if they cannot end the season with either the Premier League or Champions League.
The level of investment at City since Guardiola’s arrival has only raised expectations at the Etihad Stadium, and losing their grasp of the top-flight crown would be considered a significant blow.
However, City do still find themselves in the box seat, and the manner of their 1-0 victory over Leicester City on Monday night will only further motivate the Spaniard’s squad.
City struggled for large parts against a Foxes side who were relishing the opportunity to show that they are more than just an offensive side, but Vincent Kompany’s 25-yard winner produced one of the moments of any season in recent years.
The Belgian’s wonder strike was just City’s fifth goal in their last four outings, but it has now been over seven Premier League fixtures since Guardiola’s team conceded a goal from open play.
City have become known for their record in the final third of the pitch, but their improvement in defence is what has arguably led to their one-point advantage heading into the weekend.
The North-West giants cannot match their points total or number of goals scored from last season, but Guardiola would undoubtedly value winning this season’s Premier League title towards the top of his list of achievements should City get over the line.
On the other hand, Brighton have secured their top-flight status for another 12 months, but maximum points are required to end the campaign higher than 17th position in the standings.
Chris Hughton will be disappointed that his side have failed to improve on last year’s solid debut campaign in the Premier League, but the Seagulls boss will at least take heart from how his players have responded when faced with a relegation battle.
The 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City – their fourth successive setback in the Premier League – left their nearest rivals within touching distance of survival, while Brighton were left to contemplate the toughest run-in of any team in the top flight.
However, three draws from four games have proven enough to keep the club above the bottom three, with two of their points coming from away fixtures at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal.
Brighton were also unfortunate to suffer a late defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, but it was another performance that will suggest to Hughton that he still has a united squad at the Amex Stadium.
Burnley possible XI: Heaton, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson, Westwood, Cork, McNeil, Barnes, Wood.
Man City possible XI: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko, Foden, Gundogan, D.Silva, B.Silva, Aguero, Sterling.