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Brighton managed to scrape through to the fourth round of the cup on penalties when facing Newport County at the weekend, and they’ll know they have to put on a much more accomplished performance if they want to trouble Man City in this clash.
The Citizens saw off championship opponents Birmingham with ease thanks to three first half goals from Bernardo Silva (2) and Phil Foden.
Pep Guardiola fielded a familiarly strong side for that cup clash which is surprising having come out of an extremely congested festive schedule, though we’d still expect the likes of Kevin de Bruyne to start here.
Having had the first week of the season off, it’s been a case of catch up for Man City, and after a few shaky performances and results earlier on in the campaign there are signs that things are beginning to click again.
Indeed, they’re currently on a 13-match winning streak across all competitions, winning each of their last six.
What’s even more impressive is how solid they’ve been at the back, conceding just three times during that 13-match run as John Stones and Ruben Dias have formed a formidable partnership, with Callum Hudson-Odoi the only player to score past them in the league this season so we’d be surprised if Brighton even managed to find the net at the Etihad on Wednesday.
Man City Win/Win Half-time / Full-time
What’s been key Man City’s recent success is how quickly they tend to get off the mark, with 75% of their goals this season coming in the first 45 minutes of games, with just one of their last nine strikes coming after the break.
For that reason, the half-time score is very often a reflection of the full-time result, as has been the case in each of City’s last 10 outings, with the last three being W/W doubles.
Brighton are on a dire run of form having won just the single game in their last 17 across all competitions and while that came impressively against a strong Aston Villa side, that was all the way back in November and they would have hoped to have pushed on a bit since then.
It’s not all doom and gloom though as they are still picking up points with four of their last five league matches ending all square.
However, all those five outings came against sides placed 10th or below, while up against the top seven in the league they’ve now lost five of six winless matches, and we’d expect a similar outcome here.
While City have been resolute, Brighton haven’t exactly been goal shy and have at least found the net in eight of nine matches against top half opposition this year, while they’ve actually scored more on their travels than they have back at the Amex, so at the prices we’ll ignore the Man City clean sheet for this clash and the half-time/full-time result looks the best value.