Manchester City v Brighton preview: Chris Hughton fears backlash from champions
Last Updated: 09/05/18 7:41am
Brighton manager Chris Hughton fears his side could face a backlash when they take on newly crowned Premier League champions Man City on Wednesday evening.
Brighton - who secured their top-flight status with two games to spare by beating Man Utd at the Amex Stadium on Friday night - travel to the Etihad Stadium with free-scoring City needing to win in order to keep alive their hopes of reaching 100 points this season.
Guardiola's team were held to a surprise goalless draw by struggling Huddersfield Town on Sunday as they dropped league points in front of their own fans for just the third time this season.
"They tend to bounce back very quickly and I think that's the philosophy they have at the club," he said.
"They have a manager who demands that and that's the reason why they've been so brilliant this season.
"They can have an off day but generally they bounce back from that.
"But we don't expect less than an incredibly difficult game."
City head coach Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, wants his players to give him one final push as the champions look to set new Premier League records for most wins, goals and points in a season.
However, the champions now have just two league fixtures, starting against Brighton, to achieve those feats.
"Here we had time to accept the reality. We won two, three weeks ago. We were surprised how good we maintained our focus," said Guardiola after City's goalless draw with Huddersfield on the weekend.
"Today (Sunday) for many a reason, we were not able. We have to try to make the last effort."
Defender Vincent Kompany could be back in contention after being left out for Sunday's clash with Huddersfield with a minor knock.
Top-scorer Sergio Aguero remains sidelined with a knee injury though.
Hughton could name an unchanged starting XI at City with the visitors reporting no new selection concerns after Friday's victory against United.
However, midfielder Steve Sidwell, who has not featured all season, remains sidelined through injury.
City haven't hosted Brighton in a league game since September 1988, a 2-1 win at Maine Road with goals from Ian Brightwell and Paul Moulden
In seven previous league visits to City, the Seagulls have failed to win any (D2 L5), although this is their first visit to the Etihad.
Brighton haven't won away from home at either of the Manchester clubs in 17 attempts in all competitions (D4 L13).
The Seagulls beat United in their last match - the only team to beat both Manchester clubs in consecutive Premier League matches are Tottenham (4-1 v Man Utd, 1-0 v Man City in January 1996).
Victory for City would set a new record for highest number of points in a single top-flight season in England (97, currently 95 by Chelsea in 2004-05). When converting to three points for a win, only Liverpool (98 in 1978-79) and Tottenham (97 in 1960-61) have reached this many.
City are the highest goalscorers in Premier League home games this season (58) while Brighton have scored fewer on the road than any other side (9).
City will have been partying after Sunday night. I like Brighton, they have brilliant and they got a good result on Friday against Man Utd, but I am going to go 2-0 to City!
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (5/1 with Sky Bet)