Manchester City v Brighton: Mahrez can help hosts bounce back from cup defeat

With the title race entering the final stages Manchester City entertain Brighton on Wednesday night. Ben Steele expects City's top scorer to lead them to victory...

Mahrez back in the lineup and back amongst the goals

Manchester City's last two weeks have seen them play both Liverpool and Atletico Madrid twice in one of the toughest run of games they have faced under Pep Guardiola. However, after fielding a rotated side in the FA Cup on Saturday it is clear that the Spaniard is targeting maintaining City's lead at the top of the Premier League table over reaching a cup final.

While the likes of Ederson, Ruben Dias and Kevin De Bruyne will come back into the side on Wednesday well rested it is the one man Guardiola brought off the bench, Riyad Mahrez, who might have the biggest impact on the game.

The Algerian winger helped set up a grandstand finish at Wembley with a late assist for Bernardo Silva but it his own goalscoring prowess that makes him a threat to Brighton. Across all competitions this season Mahrez has played 40 games, scoring 22 times, along with his consistent ability to create goals as well. With De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden creating behind him the 31-year-old always gets his fair share of chances even against a team as strong defensively as Brighton.

Graham Potter has built a strong defensive unit, who have only conceded 37 goals this season, but four of those came the last time these two sides faced off. Mahrez, who rounded off the scoring in City's 4-1 win at the Amex in October, is Evens to score anytime on Wednesday night and match his highest scoring Premier League tally since arriving in Manchester.

Jesus can recover from difficult Easter Weekend

One man who started on Saturday and could well keep his place is Gabriel Jesus a man who arguably had the chances to be the architect of one of the FA Cup's greatest ever comebacks. Early in the second half, the Brazilian provided the assist for Grealish's goal but then spurned two good opportunities of his own as City chased the game.

Saturday was, in part, a microcosm of Jesus's season. An excellent assist where he showed a cool head, followed by failing to score himself. However, it is selflessness that keeps him in Guardiola's good books.

Much has been made of Manchester City's lack of an out-and-out striker, and while Jesus has said he prefers to play wide he is probably the only player available to Pep with the skillset to consistently run in behind when his side have the ball while leading the press whenever City lose the ball. Guardiola's side are heavy favourites to win the game (2/11) and will, undoubtedly, have a lot of the ball.

With wingers like Mahrez and Raheem Sterling arriving late in the box for Jesus to pick out a Bet Builder of Gabriel Jesus to set up a goal and Manchester City to win offers great value @ 3.2.

Big game goals make Trossard the biggest threat

Brighton are enjoying an impressive end to the season and in the last week have picked up two eye catching victories in North London. Graham Potter's men have beaten top four chasers Tottenham and Arsenal in their last two games with diminutive midfielder Leandro Trossard opening the scoring in both games.

Those goals took the Belgian's total for the season to six, with half of them coming in away games against the top six, an equaliser at Anfield the other such goal. Brighton are an incredibly well drilled side and riding high on their last two victories will fancy their chances of another impressive scalp.

While I don't expect the Seagulls to leave Manchester with a win Trossard's form offers some interesting value. A massive 25/1 to score first for the third game in a row, and 9/1 to score anytime.

Given that fullback Oleksandr Zinchenko, who last scored for Manchester City in 2019 against Burton Albion is priced at 6/1 to score anytime I think Trossard is fantastic value.

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