Brighton & Hove Albion (+1025) vs. Manchester City (-300), Draw (+480)
It took over three decades, but Brighton & Hove Albion are finally back in the Premier League. The Seagulls were granted a well-deserved promotion from the Championship after giving Newcastle a run for the top spot in 2016-17. But they face a tough reintroduction on Saturday (August 12th) when they take on title favorites Manchester City. This match is the perfect opportunity to put some cash down on the underdog, and our review of Bovada will explain exactly why.
After a disappointing 2016-17 season, City manager Pep Guardiola went all out to repair his back line. He got rid of some of the older defenders — Aleksandar Kolarov (31), Pablo Zabaleta (32), and Gael Clichy (31) — and spared no expense purchasing some world-class replacements.
He paid an astronomical €57.5 million for Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy (23) and €51 million on Spurs’ Kyle Walker, and it didn’t stop there. Guardiola also spent €30 million on Real Madrid’s Danilo (26) and €40 million on Benfica keeper Ederson Moraes (23).
To many, that’s a ludicrous amount of money for defensive players, but City’s flaws on defense was what led to their downfall last season. Guardiola has definitely paid a premium for these players and that has made them the clear title favorites.
With a back line consisting of Walker, Vincent Kompany, John Stones, and Danilo (Mendy is likely to still be injured), and Ederson between the posts, City has upgraded their lackluster defense to perhaps the best in the league.
In preparation for their Premier League return, Brighton has gone all out as well. The difference is that “all out” for Brighton means spending €6 million on Valencia keeper Mathew Ryan and €13 million on PSV midfielder Davy Pröpper. Both of those transfers broke the club spending record and they’re on the cusp of breaking it again by signing Colombian international Jose Izquierdo for €13.5 million. That’s peanuts for a top-tier Premier League club but it’s a huge deal for Brighton.
Pep Guardiola has put together an amazing squad over the summer and it’ll be tough for any side to challenge them. The biggest decision he has to make on Saturday is which striker to start. Does he play his top goalscorer, Sergio Agüero, or the 20-year-old prodigy, Gabriel Jesus? Maybe he’ll even play a front two.
Whatever he decides, it will be a ferocious Man City side. The freshly promoted Brighton are in for a very tough time in their first match back.
Pick: Manchester City (-300)