After a slow build towards the new season Manchester City are starting to gain real momentum at just the right time for a title tilt. It is not just the three Premier League wins on the bounce, though such consistency has been hard for any team to find this season, but the elegantly ruthless way in which Pep Guardiola's side are playing.
Brighton are a side that can be similarly easy on the eye but so far it has not brought them results with their last five games bringing four draws and a defeat. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
- Date: Wednesday, Jan. 13
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- Location: Etihad Stadium -- Manchester, United Kingdom
- TV: NBC SN
- Live stream: Fubo TV (try for free)
- Odds: Man City -600; Draw +600; Brighton +1800 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Manchester City: Though City kept results ticking over in the autumn of 2020 it has only been in recent weeks that they have really clicked, perhaps beginning with the 3-1 demolition of Chelsea where Kevin De Bruyne was dominant as a center forward. As he has excelled so have those around him recovered their best form, particularly the likes of Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez, who had been somewhat disappointing by their own high standards so far this season.
Guardiola is taking nothing for granted ahead of a Brighton side who he spoke of with fierce admiration, adding: "Momentum arrives and disappears in one instant but the truth is that we cannot forget that the teams we beat recently - especially in the Premier League and Carabao Cup - we did it well but tomorrow it can disappear so you have to do it again. We are getting results and especially for the way we are playing."
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Brighton: It has been a tough ride for Potter's Brighton, without a league win since November 21 and with only three points more than 18th-placed Fulham having played two games more. And yet results have not reflected performances for much of this season with the Seagulls eighth in terms of expected goals (xG) per 90 and 17th in terms of opposition xG, signifying a side that are creating a good number of chances and defending their own net very well.
And yet it may be that their travails are simply down to lacking the requisite quality at both ends of the pitch to ensure the game goes as analysis of it suggests it might. Top scorer Neal Maupay has endured something of a cold streak in front of goal with only Alexis MacAllister and Solly March weighing in with more than two so far this season. At the other end Matt Ryan has gone from one of the Premier League's better goalkeepers last season to the bench after conceding 19 goals having faced shots on target worth just 12.64 xG.
It may be that Brighton have just been unlucky this season but if that does not change soon it could be Potter's luck that runs out.
It will definitely take more than a spot of good luck for Brighton to get the better over City, who ought to romp to another convincing win. PICK: City (-600)