Peeeeeep! Away we go!
Brighton kick us off, taking pictures proper to left. Opposite to my effort beneath, I believe they’ll play with one thing we would name a 3-4-2-1. Mac Allister, Trossard and Tau would be the three extra attacking gamers.
“Why is it that solely 9s may be false?” asks a philosophical Phil Gray. “Couldn’t the defender on the precise of a again 3 be thought of a false 2, or an attack-minded proper again a false 7, or a really defensive DM who slips into the again 4 a false 5?”
That’s one for Jonathan Wilson, I’m not touching that. Though it jogs my memory of the time I instructed to Arsène Wenger in all seriousness that Santi Cazorla was an “eight and a half” and he laughed within the mistaken impression I used to be making some type of soccer positions-based joke.
The groups are popping out onto the pitch. Let’s see what they provide us right this moment. Brighton are properly coached and even with this makeshift staff I can’t see them getting a thrashing, however it does really feel like a reasonably regulation 2-0 to Metropolis on the face of issues.
Potter, who provides little away to the media, describes a “difficult” latest interval. Brighton’s final league win was on 21 November at Villa.
Guardiola has all the time been very good about Graham Potter and Brighton. I bear in mind him falling over himself to reward them after final season’s fixture, which I lined on the Etihad. It did really feel a bit a lot on the time given Metropolis had gained 4-0, a bit like when Pep pronounces himself delighted with hefty defeats and so forth. However Brighton do play good, structured stuff. They only lack devilment within the last third and I don’t actually know the place it’ll come from right this moment.
Metropolis followers: assured you’re over the hump and on this title race for the lengthy haul? It was attention-grabbing to see Guardiola say their enchancment owes partially to working *much less* – not all the time what we hear in today of hell-for-leather urgent.
Look away now, blue half of Manchester – that is how Marcus Christenson charges Man United’s title hopefuls towards their adorned predecessors:
The self-isolating Sergio Aguero is amongst these absent for Metropolis, though Raheem Sterling is again on the bench. Appears like Pep Guardiola goes basically strikerless to start with …
So are Brighton, by the seems of it, though it’s arduous to inform precisely how they are going to line up. It’s a reasonably defensive-looking facet from Graham Potter and so they miss Yves Bissouma, their influential midfielder, by suspension. Percy Tau, again from his mortgage at Anderlecht, will be the most superior member of Brighton’s staff – this would be the South African’s first begin for Brighton, two and a half years after he signed.
Manchester Metropolis: Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko; Rodrigo, Gundogan; De Bruyne, Mahrez, Foden; Bernardo. Subs: Steffen, Walker, Sterling, Jesus, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Harwood-Bellis, Mbete.
Brighton: Sanchez; Veltman, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Trossard, White, Propper, Bernardo; Mac Allister; Tau. Subs: Walton, Maupay, Gross, March, Zeqiri, Sanders, Jenks, Weir, Khadra.
What’s that coming over the hill? It’s Manchester Metropolis. Not Manchester United, they’ve already scaled the summit and are peering down on everybody else. However Metropolis are on quietly glorious type, successful their final six video games in all competitions and beginning to appear like the facet that when surgically dissected all who crossed their pat. Win tonight and they are going to be 4 factors off the highest, with an additional recreation in hand. May we be in for a three-horse title race when issues all shake down?
Brighton may have one thing to say about that tonight, though we’ll see how a lot. Whereas Metropolis are on a roll, Graham Potter’s males can’t purchase a win – though they’ve drawn 4 of their final 5 top-flight outings and recovered properly from 3-1 down towards Wolves final trip. They had been taken the space by Newport within the FA Cup on Sunday evening, although, regardless of fielding a powerful facet. So will they take the hit right here and eye different battles of their quest to maneuver away from the relegation query, or will they’ve an actual go?
We are going to quickly discover out! Kick-off is at 6pm UK time – so keep shut and get your emails/tweets in to the addresses above.