Manchester City take on Brighton at Wembley in the first of the 2019 FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday (April 6). However, whilst it may be a neutral ground on paper, City’s cast experience of playing at Wembley over the past few seasons should be a massive advantage.
Check out our stats, analysis, and free tips for Manchester City vs Brighton.
Manchester City Form
The Carabao Cup Trophy is already in City’s trophy cabinet and their current unbeaten run of 13 consecutive winning matches in all competitions is the kind of form that could see Pep Guardiola’s side pull-off an amazing quadruple this season.
They tend to dominate possession against most teams, and they have no problem steamrollering sides like Rotherham and Newport, even if they were a little kinder to Swansea in front of their home fans when leaving it late to steal a 3-2 win in their FA quarter-final.
What’s most impressive about City’s latest unbeaten run is that they’ve scored 34 goals and conceded just seven, keeping eight clean sheets. Two of the goals they conceded were also penalties against Schalke and Brighton may also need some help from the referee.
If Brighton’s last two Premier League matches are anything to go by, they might as well not turn up at Wembley. They failed to all but secure their Premier League survival when losing at home to Southampton last weekend, which could see them dragged into the relegation battle over the final few games of the season. They also failed to alleviate that pressure with a tame 3-0 loss at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
That means manager Chris Hughton will need to give them a sharp reminder that they’ve been good on their travels so far in the FA Cup, with away victories at Bournemouth, West Brom, and Millwall, and it’s not long since they also beat Crystal Palace away in the league.
Manchester City vs Brighton Head To Heads
Since Brighton’s return to the Premier League two seasons ago, they’ve enjoyed no success against Manchester City with three straight defeats. However, they haven’t been completely disgraced and have lost those games 2-0, 2-0, and 3-1.
Manchester City vs Brighton Team News
Sergio Aguero missed City’s match against Cardiff last week and, though he’s expected to be fit, it will be interesting to see whether Guardiola prioritises their Champions League match against Tottenham next week by starting with him on the bench. That could give Gabriel Jesus another chance to star in this year’s competition.
Doubts about Mendy and Zinchenko could also see Danilo start at left-back, and Guardiola won’t need reminding that the Brazilian scored in City’s 3/1 win over Brighton at the Etihad last season.
Guardiola may also recall another player that scored in that match Bernardo Silva, along with David Silva, and Raheem Sterling, who scored in this season’s 2-0 win at the Etihad. That would allow him to possibly also rest De Bruyne and Fernandinho.
Calf injuries could be a problem for Locadia and March for Brighton, whilst Gross looks certain to miss the game. Murray could start after coming on in the second-half against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Manchester City vs Brighton Verdict
Brighton will probably start in their unusual defensive mode but, if Pep Guardiola’s side score early, we could see the Brighton side that has scored three past Bournemouth and West Brom and two past Derby and Millwall in FA Cup this season. If that’s the case, odds of 13/8 or better about both teams scoring could be decent value.
If Brighton are forced to attack early, that could also open the floodgates for City. In the hope that Danilo does start, he could be worth support in the anytime goalscorer market in the hope that lightning strikes twice.