Manchester City can move back into the Premier League top-four with victory over Brighton but Tom Carnduff has found value in corners.
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Manchester City v Brighton
- 18:00 GMT on BT Sport 1
- Match odds: Home 1/7 | Draw 13/2 | Away 18/1
Now is certainly the time to look at loading up on Manchester City players in your fantasy football teams. Pep Guardiola's side face Brighton, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, all at home, in the next seven days. It's the start of a run of fixtures that also sees them come up against West Brom, Sheffield United and then Burnley in early February. We can see why they are now favourites to win the Premier League title.
Since a surprise 1-1 draw at home to the Baggies, City have gone on and won their last six in all competitions. It's a contrast to a Brighton side where victory has become a rarity - even their trip to Sky Bet League Two side Newport on Sunday went to penalties, although they did
at least progress in the end.
Aston Villa and Newcastle are the only two sides that Graham Potter's men have beaten in the league this season. They are 17th, just three points above the drop zone, and there will be some nerves given that Fulham hold two games in-hand due to postponements.
It seems like a line constantly repeated in every Brighton preview but they aren't actually a bad side. They have a clear way of playing but just lack the cutting edge that others have. There is also an absence of a settled starting XI but at least the expectation won't be on them to win this game - Leeds at the weekend is more important in the context of the season.
What is evident in this Brighton side is the high amount of corners they take for a team sitting at the bottom-end of the division. The 95 awarded in their favour is the sixth-highest in the Premier League, and despite hitting a decent target against difficult opponents, the odds are so focused on City that Brighton's price in the corner market is just too high.
The one really eye-catching price is the 11/4 available on Brighton taking four or more corners in this game. City should win the corners battle but the visitors can earn their fair share, something they have done throughout the season.
Albion had five against Arsenal, Wolves, Leicester and Tottenham while four came against West Ham, Southampton, Chelsea and Liverpool, with a huge tally of seven in a defeat to Manchester United and even 10 in their 4-2 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.
Even with City's good form, they have been conceding corners at the other end. Newcastle and Fulham took three each and West Brom had two during their strong run of results at home - they are the three lowest corner takers in the Premier League.
Arsenal, who sit one place below Brighton in the corner standings, registered six in their early season trip to the Etihad. We'd expect the 11/4 price on 4+ for one of those other teams at the bottom end of the division, but Brighton's corner statistics don't match those around them.
With City such a heavy odds-on price, as per usual in their home contests, the outright result is one to avoid, although taking a City win to nil presents a more attractive 5/6 - this would have been a winning bet in each of their last five home wins in all competitions. Instead of looking at the result, the best value comes in siding with the visitors hitting a decent corner count.
Score prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Brighton (Sky Bet odds: 6/1)
Manchester City v Brighton best bets
- Manchester City have won all six of their Premier League matches against Brighton, scoring 20 goals and conceding just twice.
- Brighton have never won an away league game against Man City in 10 previous attempts (D2 L8), losing their last six visits in a row between 1983 and 2019.
- Brighton have led for just 83 seconds in their six Premier League meetings with Manchester City – Glenn Murray gave the Seagulls the lead in May 2019 before Sergio Agüero equalised, with City going on to win 4-1 to clinch the title.
- Since shipping five goals against Leicester in a 5-2 defeat in September, Man City have conceded just seven goals in 13 Premier League games, four fewer than any other side since the start of October.
- Brighton manager Graham Potter has a win ratio of just 20% in the Premier League (11 wins in 55 games), the sixth-lowest of any manager to take charge of at least 50 games and third-lowest among Englishmen, ahead only of Phil Brown (19.4%) and Dave Bassett (19.7%).
Odds correct at 1030 GMT (12/01/21)
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