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Ilkay Gundogan to Replace Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones to Make Return! - Predicted Team: Brighton vs Man City (Premier League)

Manchester City will look to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight games on Saturday evening, when third place meets fourth at the Amex Stadium.

Just two points separate Pep Guardiola and Graham Potter's sides in the Premier League table ahead of the weekend meeting, with the Blues looking to avoid back-to-back defeats to the Seagulls for the first time. 

A stunning second-half comeback helped the South Coast side to an unexpected 3-2 win against City back in May, as Joao Cancelo's controversial red card ignited the team, with Brighton beating the Blues for the first time since 1989. 

Despite defeat in May, Manchester City had won their previous eight games against Brighton and famously secured their fourth Premier League title with a 4-1 victory in 2019. 

The Blues won by a similar scoreline in midweek, as Pep Guardiola's side moved up to 2nd in Group A, after a 5-1 demolition of Club Brugge in the Champions League. 

Brighton were held to a 0-0 against Norwich last weekend, as Graham Potter's side had to settle for their third consecutive draw in the Premier League. 

Meanwhile, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne were both on the scoresheet as Manchester City beat Burnley 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium last Saturday. 

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Ferran Torres faces the prospect of spending the remainder of the year on the sidelines, although Ederson and Gabriel Jesus will both be available for selection after returning to the UK with the rest of the squad.

The availability of John Stones after missing midweek's clash with Brugge due to personal reasons, is still unknown. 

Ahead of the Blues' trip to the south coast on Saturday evening, here is how we predict the Premier League champions to set up against Brighton!

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Ederson, who made his Manchester City debut at the Amex Stadium in 2017, will return to the starting XI for the Blues this weekend. The Brazilian started in the Champions League on Tuesday, after missing a Premier League game for just the second time since January. 

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We also expect to see the formidable defensive partnership of Ruben Dias and John Stones return for the first time this season at Brighton. 

Stones featured for the first time this campaign against Burnley last weekend, and having missed the trip to Belgium in midweek, the Englishman can be expected to make his 170th Manchester City start on Saturday. 

Alongside Stones on the South Coast will be Ruben Dias, with the Portuguese central defender having made just his second appearance as a substitute since joining the Blues last weekend. 

Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo both scored against Brugge, and one expects to see both full-backs retain their respective places this weekend. Walker will remain on the right flank, while Cancelo will seek to continue his sensational form from left-back.  

Fernandinho hasn't started in the Premier League since City's 0-0 draw with Southampton in September, and Rodri will likely keep his place after some commanding midfield performances.

Recently disgruntled readers will also be delighted to hear that I expect Bernardo Silva to start on Saturday. The 27-year-old has three goals in 11 appearances against the Seagulls and also happened to make his City debut at Brighton four years ago. 

The most notable change will be alongside Bernardo in the midfield, as I expect Ilkay Gundogan to replace Kevin De Bruyne in the starting XI. 

The German featured for the first time in over a month in midweek, and given that De Bruyne has started all of the last six matches, Brighton would be the perfect opportunity to rest the Belgian before key matches over the next couple of weeks. 

Phil Foden occupied the false nine position against Brugge brilliantly. Therefore, the 21-year-old, who is expected to sign a new six-year contract with the Premier League champions imminently, will start up top this weekend. 

Gabriel Jesus was in fine form before the international break, with six direct goal involvements in seven Premier League appearances. The 24-year-old can expect to return to the team this weekend and occupy his new favoured role out wide. 

Last but not least, Jack Grealish will make his 11th Manchester City start, with the £100 million man having linked up superbly with both Phil Foden and Joao Cancelo on Tuesday.  

Predicted XI: Ederson; Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Joao Cancelo; Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan; Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish. 

Substitues: Zack Steffen, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Cole Palmer. 

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