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A raft of changes on the Man City side for their FA Cup semi-final was somewhat inevitable given their fiery Champions League encounter with Atletico Madrid and fresh injuries to key players, but one controversial call from Pep Guardiola backfired more than the rest at Wembley Stadium.
Zack Steffen was given the nod in goal over Ederson, whose nifty footwork came to the fore in the league meeting with the Reds, but the American shot-stopper was not so skilled in a similar scenario, allowing Sadio Mane to nip in and score the second of Liverpool’s three goals in the first half.
Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva‘s responses were ultimately in vain for Man City, who could still complete a remarkable Premier League and Champions League double in the weeks that remain, and the former title is firmly in their own hands heading into the final stretch.
At the time of writing, the reigning champions still hold a one-point lead over Liverpool at the summit, but Jurgen Klopp‘s side could temporarily usurp Man City with victory over Manchester United on Tuesday night before the Citizens seek to restore order 24 hours later.
Defeat to the Reds at Wembley means that City have now gone three games without a win in all competitions, but they are the division’s top goalscorers at home with 42 strikes this term and will prove to be a true test of Brighton’s new-found mettle.
City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne was fit enough to make the bench at Wembley, but Kyle Walker missed out with the twisted ankle he sustained at the Wanda Metropolitano and remains doubtful for the visit of the Seagulls.
Cole Palmer‘s ankle problem has not let up just yet either, but the champions did not pick up any fresh concerns at Wembley, and Guardiola is sure to rejig his side after their fruitless efforts in the capital.
Ederson, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte can all expect recalls in the backline, while the likes of Rodri, Riyad Mahrez and De Bruyne – if he is fit enough – are all refreshed and raring to go from the off.
As for Brighton, Tariq Lamptey had to be taken off with an apparent injury in the win over Spurs but is not reported to be nursing anything serious, while Jakub Moder and Shane Duffy remain out of contention.
Steven Alzate has come down with an illness and may be forced to miss this encounter as well, but Potter is otherwise well-stocked and could send out the same XI once again, with Enock Mwepu‘s half-time substitution against Tottenham a tactical change after he was arguably fortunate to escape a sending off.
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Another goal for Trossard would earn the Belgian a place in the Brighton history books, as no Seagulls player has ever scored in three consecutive Premier League away games before.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Silva, Sterling
Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Cucurella; Lamptey, Caicedo, Bissouma, Gross, Trossard; Mwepu; Mac Allister