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Brighton & Hove Albion will kickstart their first ever Premier League campaign by welcoming title contenders Manchester City to the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
The Seagulls, led by manager Chris Hughton, made it to the top division after finishing as runners-up in the EFL Championship last season. But they will be given one of the sternest tests on the big stage, as they face the Citizens’ mighty attack. The atmosphere at the home stadium though will be electric and the players will be hoping to draw inspiration from the support and cause an upset on the opening day.
Solly March is a doubt for the season opener, while forward Sam Baldock and midfielder Beram Kayal are definite absentees. New signings Matthew Ryan, Davy Propper and Markus Suttner may be in for their competitive debut for the club. Key members Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray are on the way to recovery and were involved with the U23 setup in order to be fit for the City clash.
The new signing from Valencia is set to make his competitive debut in the Premier League. Will have a hard time keeping out the likes of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.
The 36-year old club captain is likely to start the game at the right-back slot ahead of the likes of Liam Rosenior and summer signing Ales Mateju.
Was easily one of the best centre-halves in the Championship last season. Will be hoping to carry on from where he left off the previous term, but Aguero will pose a completely different level of threat.
The former Evertonian was another key member of the squad last season in the club’s promotion bid. Will partner Dunk at the heart of the defence.
The new signing featured heavily in the pre-season and has done fairly well. Will man the left-hand side of the defence against the marauding Kyle Walker.
The 27-year old was an integral part of the team last season, helping them achieve promotion. Should start in the middle of the park.
The latest addition to the squad, Propper arrived from PSV Eindhoven earlier this week. The Dutchman will add great quality to the midfield and is likely to be thrust into action straight away.
The 25-year old remains absolutely vital to the scheme of things for Hughton and the Seagulls. If completely fit, he should start on Saturday.
The summer signing has settled in well with the rest of the squad and has enjoyed a strong pre-season. He should start in the hole behind the striker.
The Scotsman has had an impressive pre-season and is the favourite to start down the left flank ahead of the likes of Izzy Brown and Jiri Skalak.
The veteran forward was the top-scorer for the club last season and having worked his way back to fitness, he is likely to start the game at the top of the attack.