Manchester City are huge favourites to beat Brighton at the Etihad this Saturday but Graham Potter has delivered an upset or two in the past – just ask anyone from Galatasaray.
Potter will take charge of just his fourth Premier League match against the champions and he will take inspiration from a Europa League Cup second qualifying round back in 2017.
Galatasaray may not be on the same level as Pep Guardiola’s men but at the time Potter’s former club Ostersund, had an annual turnover of £4.2m – compared to Galatasaray’s £168m.
The Arctic winds that blow through the Swedish city of Ostersund are known as a “nordvästan” and the Turkish champions felt the full force from Potter’s team at the Jämtkraft Arena. They were blown away 2-0 in the first leg and Ostersund finished the job in Istanbul with a 1-1 draw.
“To beat them over two legs was probably the biggest one (upset) for me,” said Potter, emphasising the two-legs proudly. “For a club like Ostersund to beat them, was big.”
Asked if that gives him hope ahead of the City clash, Potter added, “It’s a bit sad if you can’t believe (an upset is possible). You have to be respectful of course, with what they have achieved but you always have to believe there is a possibility and that’s what is great about football. If we lose that, then it all becomes a bit dull.”
The Seagulls have won once, drawn once and lost once from their opening three Premier League fixtures, while City have won two and drawn once from their first three.
Guardiola’s team have amassed almost 200 points over the last two seasons. They have scored the most goals, created the most chances and conceded the fewest. Once again they have started the new season impressively and Potter admits Guardiola and City have set a new standard.
“We will need to be lucky, without a doubt,” said the head coach. “And you need to be perfect, play perfectly and respond perfectly and you also have to hope that they are not so good. It sounds easy but you have to have an idea and a belief that you can go on the pitch and win.
“If you have to say one thing, it is their collective strength. They are a team with good individual players but they fight for everything. Everybody sacrifices themselves for the team.”
Few give Albion a hope. Brighton are a huge 45-1 to get the win and a draw is 12-1. Potter however, dares to dream and he has of course delivered notable upsets. The weather forecast for Manchester on Saturday is wind and rain...City be warned, it could turn in to a nordvästan.
Florin Andone will serve the second match of his three-game suspension following his red card against Southampton. Potter confirmed there are no fresh injury concerns following matches against Southampton and Bristol Rovers, but Yves Bissouma, Jose Izquierdo and Ezequiel Schelotto remain sidelined.
Bissouma could make his return against Burnley after the international break, Schelotto isn’t far behind, but Izquierdo will need more time.
Manchester City will likely be without Gabriel Jesus, as the striker picked up a hamstring strain before last week’s victory over Bournemouth and isn’t expected to be back until after the international break. He joins Leroy Sane and Benjamin Mendy on the sidelines. John Stones is nearing fitness after the defender missed the last two games with a thigh injury.
What time does Manchester City vs Brighton kick off?
The game kicks off at 3pm at the Etihad.
Is the game on TV?
No. Highlights of the Manchester City match will be on Match Of The Day at 10.30pm on Saturday evening. Brighton are next on TV when they travel to Newcastle on September 21 (5:30pm) live on Sky Sports and NOW TV
Who is the referee?
Jon Moss will take charge of the clash which kicks off at 3pm at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, August 31. Assistants will be Marc Perry and Simon Bennett. The fourth official will be Robert Jones with David Coote operating as the VAR official. Moss has officiated two games so far in the Premier League this season - Manchester United’s draw with Wolves where he awarded a penalty and Crystal Palace’s draw with Everton where he sent off Morgan Schneiderlin.
Manchester City are huge favourites to pick up all three points. They are priced at 1/10 to win. A Brighton victory is 45-1 and the draw is 12/1.
Aguero is 12/5 to score first, with Sterling at 10/3. Brighton’s Murray is 20-1, with Shane Duffy coming in at 66-1.
The favoured result at 11-2 is a 3-0 triumph for City. You can get 20/1 for a 1-1 draw, while a 2-0 for Brighton is at 200-1