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Premier League 2017-18 preview – Brighton and Hove Albion

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Just 116 years old, Brighton and Hove Albion is back in England’s top flight for the first time since 1983. Chris Hughton was and is their guide, a man who has now ushered two teams into the Premier League (Newcastle United).

Top scorer Glenn Murray‘s a bit used to the league as well, and he brings a 23-goal season into Falmer Stadium. Along with star wing Anthony Knockaert (more on him later), attacker Tomer Hemed, backs Lewis Dunk and Bruno, and new import Pascal Gross, the Gulls will look to find survival in Year One of their new Premier League life.

[ LIVE: Stream Premier League live ]

Best, worst case scenario – The ceiling for Brighton this year is to advance deep into a Cup competition while quickly getting to midtable and avoiding the relegation battle. The worst case scenario is stumbling out of the gates and never getting a foothold en route to relegation and the Football League Championship.


Best possible XI is… 

Ryan

Bruno — Dunk — Duffy — Suttner

 Stephens — Gross — Kayal

Knockaert — Hemed — Brown


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Pascal Gross (Ingolstadt), Izzy Brown (loan, Chelsea), Josh Kerr (Celtic), Mathew Ryan (Valencia), Markus Suttner (Ingolstadt), Mathias Normann (Bodo/Glimt), Steven Alzate (Leyton Orient).

Transfers Out: David Stockdale (Birmingham City), Rob Hunt (Oldham Athletic).

Last season:

Promoted with weeks to spare
— Fell behind Newcastle United on the last day of the Championship season to finish second in earning an automatic promotion spot. — —- Dropped out of the League Cup and FA Cup tournaments at the third round.

Star player: Anthony Knockaert, right win. The 25-year-old Frenchman didn’t get much of a chance to star for Leicester after helping in their promotion run, refinding his mojo at Standard Liege before exploding for 15 goals and nine assists in a Championship Player of the Year performance.

Coaches’ Corner: Hughton is a gem. In addition to guiding Newcastle and Brighton to promotion, he shepherded Norwich City to an 11th place finish in the PL. A two-time LMA Manager of the Year, including a year his side didn’t get promoted, Hughton has won 50 percent of his matches at Brighton.

PST predicts: Brighton just survives, getting by on the wiles of Hughton and a crucial January addition or two.

Watch Live: Man City v. Spurs

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The marquee match of the week, and maybe the Premier League’s opening month, sees Manchester City host Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Both teams were dominant in Opening Day wins, though Spurs had to work a bit longer to find their finish.

Man City’s available subs for this match are filthy, with Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, David Silva, and Fernandinho all options for Pep Guardiola (as well as Phil Foden and Claudio Bravo).

Giovani Lo Celso is on the bench for Spurs.

WATCH, STREAM: Wilson, Pukki score screamers amongst 10 a.m. ET kicks

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This season is going to be a challenge for Norwich City, but one of last season’s true heroes made sure the Canaries fans got a bit of home delight.

[ STREAM: All 10 a.m. ET kicks ]

Newcastle is visiting town on Saturday, and Teemu Pukki scored a delightful opener to give the Canaries a halftime lead.

It’s appropriate, as the volley takes a page out of Newcastle hero Alan Shearer’s playbook.

Norwich City 1-0 Newcastle UnitedSTREAM

Aston Villa 0-2 BournemouthSTREAM

And how about this from Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, who is making Villa’s home return to the Premier League less than ideal.

VIDEO: Sadio Mane scores screamer for Liverpool v. Saints

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Sadio Mane has started the season in sensational fashion.

After scoring twice for Liverpool in their Super Cup final win against Chelsea on Wednesday, Mane curled home a stunning shot right on half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Mane was playing against his former club and after Southampton had created the best chances, it was a huge boost for Liverpool to go in ahead at the break.

Click play on the video below to see Mane open the scoring in style.

Emery impressed with versatile Ceballos as Arsenal stays perfect

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Despite the score line, Unai Emery can be fairly happy with Arsenal’s performance in a 2-1 defeat of Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

On midfielder Dani Ceballos, though, Emery will be very pleased.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 2-1 Burnley ]

The Real Madrid loanee was the easy Man of the Match, his silky skill on the ball and quality industry endearing himself to Arsenal faithful. From Football.London:

“It’s to use his quality in the best position in our team. I spoke with him before coming here, it’s to play as an eight and a No.10. He started like a 10 but changed with Willock. He can feel better on the pitch.”

Emery will be less than pleased with his defense, who allowed a goal to early season Golden Boot candidate Ashley Barnes.

“We won in our moments we did the difference for 2-1. A lot of moments we couldn’t impose our gameplan because they pushed and their gameplan was a struggle for us.”