Graham Potter to spring line-up surprise for Manchester City and why Jahanbakhsh may benefit

Albion head coach Graham Potter stressed the importance of utilising the squad ahead of their Premier League clash against Manchester City at the Amex on Saturday (8pm)

Jahanbakhsh made the matchday squad for the first time since the restart against Liverpool on Wednesday
Jahanbakhsh made the matchday squad for the first time since the restart against Liverpool on Wednesday

Brighton have pulled eight points clear of the relegation places since the restart but it has been a testing period for the players and the coaching staff.

Albion suffered an energy-sapping 3-1 loss to champions Liverpool at the Amex on Wednesday night but need to recover quickly to face second place Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola's men swiftly shrugged off their surprise 1-0 loss to Southampton thanks to a thumping 5-0 win against Newcastle and will arrive in Brighton in confident mood.

Potter's Brighton are eight points above the drop zone but still need to gain something from their four remaining matches to ensure their safety.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh made the matchday squad for the first time since the restart against Liverpool and could be in contention for a starting spot against City.

The Iranian international, who has been linked with a summer move to Ajax, could get the nod ahead of Alexis Mac Allister who worked tirelessly for little reward on Wednesday and also suffered a cut to the head.

Potter will also assess the workload of 19-year-old Tariq Lamptey. The young right back has been Albion's best player since the restart having made his full debut in the 0-0 draw Leicester. He was excellent in the 1-0 win at Norwich and also impressed against Liverpool on Wednesday.

Potter spoke of managing him carefully but Brighton are a better team with him in the line-up at the moment and his blistering pace will be handy against Raheem Sterling and co.

“He’s a young guy so we have to be careful with him and watch him, said Potter. “You do not want to throw him in at the deep end, sink or swim type of thing, so we need to make sure that he is okay.

“He covers some ground at high speed, which has an implication in terms of recovery time, so that something we have to be wary of.”

Potter on Manchester City

"You need a lot of luck! You have to play well, defend well and do everything pretty much perfectly and hope you meet an opponent on an off day. You need different things to fall for you because the level is so high. From a points perspective, you can see that.

“If you look at some of the performance measurements, they’re the best. How they play is at a really consistent level. They haven’t had the results they want and that’s part of football sometimes.

"They’ll finish with a lot of points this year. They’re a fantastic side. Really well coached. Pep’s one of the best. They’re a complete team.”

Dale Stephens on Manchester City

“Those results can happen and Southampton have been doing really well recently, but we know that it will be another tough game.

“Manchester City are one of the best teams in the league, but Southampton’s result shows what can happen in this division because the quality of all the teams is so high.

“City showed how good they can be when they beat Liverpool 4-0 so we know it’ll be difficult. You need to play the perfect game to beat them.

“But we feel in good shape and feel our performances recently have been good so that’s what we have to take into the weekend.”

Team news

Jose Izquierdo remains absent for Albion with a long-term knee problem while Steven Alzate looks unlikely to feature due to a groin issue

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero will miss out. The City striker suffered a problem with his meniscus in the second game after the restart.

Brighton predicted XI: Ryan; Lamptey, Dunk, Webster, Burn; Jahanbakhsh, Stephens, Bissouma, Mooy, Trossard; Connolly.

Man City predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Gundogan, D Silva; Bernardo, Jesus, Sterling

Brighton Premier League form: DWDLWL

Man City Premier League form: WWLWLW

Referee: Graham Scott. Assistants: Eddie Smart, Derek Eaton. Fourth official: James Linington. Replacement official: Paul Kelly.

VAR: Peter Bankes. Assistant VAR: Stephen Child.