Football tips: Sterling to shine in this 24/1 Brighton v Man City Bet Builder

Our footy data guru Andrew Beasley isn't holding out much hope for the high-flying Seagulls.

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Brighton welcome Manchester City to the Amex this weekend for a battle between the third and fourth-placed teams in the table and will be hoping to emulate the 3-2 victory they enjoyed in the corresponding fixture last season.

In truth their 3-2 win in May holds very little relevance here. City had already claimed the Premier League title, were looking forward to the Champions League final (for all the good that did them) and they had Joao Cancelo sent off in just the 10th minute.


Even then they managed to go 2-0 up early in the second half, only for the home side to battle back. Anything’s possible, of course, but the odds for an identical match occurring here will melt ‘#WhatOddsPaddy’ to the ground.

But we’re not helped by the fact Brighton remain an incredibly difficult team to read. After spending 2020/21 earning far fewer points than their underlying stats suggested they deserved, the exact opposite has been happening in the early weeks of this campaign. And how seriously can you take any team that fails to score against Norwich? It’s very hard to see how a team who’ve bagged eight goals in their first eight matches can overly trouble a team who’ve conceded just three times in theirs.

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Manchester City to win

City also had a morale-boosting victory in midweek, with four different players getting on the score sheet in their 5-1 Champions League win away to Club Bruges.

The Seagulls can rightly argue that they are stronger than the reigning Belgian champions. However, the simple fact remains that you have to go back almost two years to find the last away league game against a non-big six side that Manchester City lost while the title was still alive, and even then, there’s only been two since then anyway. It just doesn’t tend to happen.

On that basis, it has to be City to win here.

Under 2.5 goals

We’ve already noted that Brighton haven’t been scoring too often this season but in fairness they haven’t conceded that many either. Their last two matches have both ended 0-0, and they needed a 95th-minute goal to get a 1-1 draw at Palace in the game before that.

Only two of their eight games so far have paid out on over 2.5 goals, and even then, they only hit the three-goal requirement and didn’t go any higher. Can City run riot here though? It’s always possible – before losing 3-2 at Brighton last season, their preceding two visits ended 5-0 and 4-1 in their favour.

But striker-less City (as they must legally be referred to until they sign whichever scraps Newcastle leave behind) haven’t been scoring too many on the road in the league. These teams conceded the first and third-fewest clear-cut chances in the Premier League last season and they occupy those spots once again in 2021/22. Under 1.5 goals wouldn’t be a surprise but we’ll play it a little safer by going for under 2.5 instead.

First Goalscorer: Raheem Sterling

It’s hard enough to identify a goalscorer bet for the Citizens even when you know the team news, as Pep Guardiola has so many high-class options at his disposal.

Eleven different players have scored a league goal already for City this season yet none of them have netted more than two. And aside from the injured Ferran Torres, the club’s other attackers all look set to be available for a nice day out on the south coast.

There’s reason to believe Raheem Sterling may get the nod in the central position though. He has alternated in and out of the starting XI across the last six games, beginning the recent match in Belgium on the bench, and he’s been at the centre of the front three when selected. He’s also due a couple of goals according to his underlying numbers, so pick Sterling to score first here (but maybe just wait until the line-ups are out to be sure!)

Home Team Over 1.5 Cards

You don’t tend to think of Brighton as a dirty side, yet they have picked up more bookings than any other team in the Premier League this season. They’re consistent too, having yet to get through 90 minutes in 2021/22 without seeing yellow. Kevin Friend, the man in charge, isn’t the most card friendly ref but he still brandishes them at an above-average rate.

If the Seagulls can pick up five bookings when playing Norwich, they can definitely earn at least two when trying to keep City at bay.

Brighton v Manchester City tips

Manchester City to win
Under 2.5 goals
First Goalscorer: Raheem Sterling
Home Team Over 1.5 Cards

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