Townsend backing promoted Brighton to survive then thrive in Premier League

Ruben Hill
August 13, 2017

Succeeding this year is crucial in implementing a feeling of stability in the Premier League, so a comfortable league position will be the main target going into the new campaign. Save that date in your diary if you're a Manchester United fan.

The 26th season of the English Premier League kicks off on Friday and football fans can not wait for the opening game between Arsenal and Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium.

And while the newly-promoted club will enjoy the occasion, there will be no party atmosphere at the Amex Stadium, said captain Bruno Saltor Grau.

Midfielder Beram Kayal will miss the next two months with a broken leg however, and his absence restricts boss Hughton's options.

A year ago, the buzz around the Premier League was focussed on the arrival in Manchester of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho as managers of City and United.

Guardiola has started rebuilding from the back by recruiting fullbacks Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker for around 50 million pounds apiece.

Diame - who scored six goals in all competitions last season - retired from worldwide football in March. In 2008, these teams met in the League Cup, and then the "seagulls" went further on penalties. That game ended 2-2, with Brighton prevailing 5-3 on penalties at their former home, the Withdean Stadium.

The odds makers have Antonio Conte's side as one of the favorites to win the league, but there is quite a bit working against the reigning champions as the new season dawns.

March believes that the high transfer fees are a reflection of the quality in the league but says Brighton are not intimidated by bigger teams or anxious by the general consensus that they will be relegated after just one season.

Brighton could be the 31st different team that Sergio Aguero has faced in the Premier League.

In an off-season that has seen more than 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) invested in players, Manchester rivals City and United have accounted for more than a third of that spending. An opening goal for them would be unbelievable, but City should handle them quite easily. The Argentine has scored against 29 of the other 30 clubs he's played against, only failing to score versus Bolton Wanderers.

Guardiola will be expected to replicate what happened last season during his first 10 games, only that this time he is expected to end the season with some silverware.

The Premier League match between Brighton and Manchester City will be broadcast live on NBC. His composure and ball-playing was supposed to stabilise the heart of the defence, but his inability to catch up with the high expectations after his heavy transfer fee cost both Manchester City and the player himself for that matter.

But Mangala has been training with the first team squad to prepare for the new season - while other unwanted stars have been frozen out.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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