Could Brighton and Hove Albion be the Premier League season’s surprise?

Brighton and Hove Albion
Photo by ALEX PANTLING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

If you were to scroll through our match recaps of Brighton and Hove Albon during the 2019-20 Premier League season, it feels like a safe bet that many would say something along the lines of “Graham Potter’s Seagulls deserved better.”

At least that’s how it felt to me, and watching Brighton’s first three outings of the 2020-21 campaign has me digging deep ahead of a two-test week for the Seagulls against Manchester United in the PL (Watch live at 7:30 am ET on NBCSN and online via and the League Cup.

[ PREVIEW: Brighton – Man Utd ]

Even with those matches ahead (like hours ahead in the first case), I’m puffing my chest just a bit at pegging the Seagulls to surprise and finish 10th.

The PL season-opening loss to Chelsea was a throwback to last season and the decisive win over Newcastle far from a surprise (When the Seagulls go up 2-0 with that set of defenders, well, good luck). Their depth provided a 2-0 League Cup win at Preston North End is a feather in the cap of depth as well. So is the fact that Potter was comfortable loaning Shane Duffy to Celtic and selling Dale Stephens to Burnley.

Brighton went 9W-14D-15L last season, Potter’s first with the Amex Stadium set, and their 41 points were seven fewer than expected goals would’ve projected due to their performances.

That was a good start to determining whether the Seagulls’ look of unluck went beyond the eyeball test. We reached out the numbers people at Liam Tharme from Albion Analytics to talk through the rest.

“The chance wastefulness was all across the board (last season),” Tharme told ProSoccerTalk. “Glenn Murray, Aaron Connolly, and Neal Maupay all underperformed their xG.”

[ MORE: ProSoccerTalk Unfiltered, Week 2 ]

Part of that could be down to adjustment. Connolly burst onto the scene at 19 by scoring a brace against Tottenham but was, in fact, 19. Maupay scored 10 times but was adjusting to his first season in the Premier League. Murray might have been 36 but was coming off consecutive double-digit goal campaigns in the PL and a one-goal season is a stunner.

Murray left for Watford and the Championship, where he’s traditionally feasted, but Connolly and Maupay have added a year’s experience to their electric skill sets.

More on that 2019-20 season, whether you deem it unlucky, wasteful, or both.

While there were outings that saw the Seagulls get the rub of the xG green, more often than not it was the other way around.

Look how many came in Dec. 8 – March 7 window that saw Brighton collect only 14 of 45 points via a 2W-8D-5L run.

Notable 2019-20 Brighton reality v xG results

  • Aug. 17 — 1-1 draw with West Ham (2.4-1.0 xG)
  • Sept. 14 — 1-1 draw with Burnley (1.69 – .34 xG)
  • Dec. 16 — 1-1 draw with Palace (2.48 – .48 xG)
  • Dec. 26 — 2-1 loss to Spurs (1.09 – 1.03 xG)
  • Jan. 21 — 3-1 loss to Bournemouth (1.97-1.92 xG)
  • Feb. 1 — 3-3 draw with West Ham (2.03-1.31 xG)
  • Jun. 23 — 0-0 draw with Leicester (1.1 – .51 xG)
  • July 8 — 3-1 loss to Liverpool (2.32 – 2.62 xG)

The team has bought Joel Veltman from Ajax and fended off all suitors of Ben White, who earned a great reputation on loan at Leeds.

The midfield has looked tremendous this season aside from Yves Bissouma’s ridiculous cleat to the face of Jamal Lewis that earned the Seagull a red card. Steven Alzate looks the part after getting acclimated to the PL last season and addnbg Adam Lallana is a good thing.

“Bissouma has really matured as a ball player,” Tharme said. “Under (Chris) Hughton he was more of a transition player, starting counter attacks through dribbles. He can now operate closer to goal, and played the most passes of any Brighton player vs Newcastle. And the same for Alzate, he’s so positionally versatile (RB/CM) that he can play 360 degrees.”

Small sample size alert, but Albion Analytics notes Brighton is second this season for average duration of goal-scoring attacks (55.6 seconds) and fourth for the average number of passes in goalscoring attacks (16.5).

So consider these bigger picture stats below, too, as I admit that my prediction of 10th on the table is perhaps a bit lofty but also quite achievable.


Manchester City vs Inter Milan: How to watch Champions League Final, odds, predictions


Manchester City is on the chase for a historic treble and standing in the way is Inter Milan, one of Europe’s precious few clubs to claim such an honor.

[ LIVE: Manchester City vs Inter Milan ]

The Premier League winners three times running have an FA Cup under their belt after beating Manchester United on June 3 and the final jewel in their treble crown awaits with a win in Istanbul on June 10.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Pep Guardiola could lead a second club to a treble after he did it with Barcelona in 2008-09, and they would give heated rivals United domestic company on the treble stage right down the road.

Guardiola says it’s now okay to talk about the treble. We agree, and we’ve laid out why the achievement is so special after the jump.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester City vs Inter Milan.

How to watch Manchester City vs Inter Milan live, stream link and start time

Dates: 3pm ET June 10, 2023
Online: Live updates via
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+

What Premier League clubs have won the treble?

Manchester United won the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in 1998-99.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils are the lone Premier League club to win it.

That’s it. For now.

How many times has the treble been won?

Nine times in history has a team won its domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.


Champions League Final odds (Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM )

BetMGM is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on BetMGM for the first time after clicking our links. 

Man City (-250) vs Inter Milan (+625) | Draw over 120 mins (+380)

Over 2.5 goals (-160). Under 2.5 goals (+110)

Champions League Final predictions

Joe Prince-Wright: Man City 2-1 Inter Milan
Andy Edwards: Man City 3-1 Inter Milan
Nick Mendola: Man City 2-0 Inter Milan

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options


Inter Milan team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Joaquin Correa. OUT: Dalbert.

Lionel Messi rejects Saudi Arabia mega-offer, will sign with Inter Miami


Lionel Messi will sign with Inter Miami, opting to move to MLS this summer rather than return to Barcelona or join Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante in Saudi Arabia, according to multiple reports.

[ MORE: UEFA Champions League final, Manchester City vs Inter Milan ]

The deal will reportedly include profit sharing with two of MLS’s biggest commercial partners, Apple and Adidas, alongside his playing contract. According to reports, it could also include an option to purchase a minority stake in the club, which is partially owned (and operated) by David Beckham, who signed a similarly unique deal when he joined MLS in 2007. Beckham’s contract gave him a $25-million option to purchase an expansion franchise, which he exercised in 2018.

Messi’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain is set to expire on June 30 and the Ligue 1 club announced earlier this month that the Argentine superstar — widely considered the greatest player of all time — will leave the club this summer.

MORE: Five players to watch in the Premier League’s summer transfer window ]

Perhaps Inter Miami and MLS weren’t Messi’s first-choice option this summer, as his father previously stated his son’s desire to return to Barcelona, where he famously won 21 major trophies before an unceremonious exit amid financial troubles in the summer of 2021, but those issues still linger two years later. The offer from Saudi Arabia would have reportedly paid Messi, 35, $1.6 billion over three years.

Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who previously worked with Lionel Messi at Barcelona (2013-2014) and Argentina (2014-2016), is reportedly the leading candidate to replace the recently departed Phil Neville as head coach.

Inter Miami, who currently sit bottom (15th) of MLS’s Eastern Conference with 15 points from their first 16 games, parted ways with Neville last week. In his two full seasons in charge, Neville guided the club to regular-season finishes of 11th (of 14) and 6th (of 14) in the Eastern Conference and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2022.

Follow @AndyEdMLS

UEFA Champions League Final: Key battles for Inter Milan vs Manchester City


Manchester City’s quest for the treble hits its final obstacle when Inter Milan goes toe-to-toe with the Premier League and FA Cup champions in Istanbul at Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final.

Pep Guardiola’s weren’t at their very best against Manchester United in the FA Cup Final and still walked away with its second trophy of the season.

But City’s final two Premier League matches saw dropped points. The stakes were non-existent and the team quite changed by Guardiola, who’s known to fancy a tactical wrinkle. How will things change this weekend?

[ MORE: Man City vs Inter Milan preview, watch info ]

It would be stunning if Inter boss Simone Inzaghi came out in anything but a 3-5-2, which has been his go-to formation for Inter Milan this season regardless of opponent.

But might Inzaghi have something up his sleeve?

Inter’s only losses in the Champions League came in the group stage versus Bayern Munich. Add in their setbacks in Serie A and there’s still been no standard recipe for beating Inter. There isn’t one for Man City, either, of course.

Kevin De Bruyne vs Marcelo Brozovic

If there’s a single player capable of messing with Pep Guardiola’s plan to control the game and get the ball to his creators in dangerous spots, it’s Croatian veteran Marcelo Brozovic. The 30-year-old is a force who can both be the club’s metronome and break up the opposition’s best attacks. There are few players in the world like De Bruyne, but he needs to be found in space and City needs the ball to do that. Brozovic can be a big part of limiting both of those things.

Erling Haaland vs Francesco Acerbi

Maybe the two names need to be switched in order, because Acerbi is going to have his hands full with Haaland. The question is whether the 35-year-old Acerbi, still very good but no longer in his prime, can use his nous and vast experience to limit Haaland’s chances to do the exceptional. Haaland, meanwhile, just has to be himself. Ask yourself who’s being asked more.

Andre Onana vs Man City’s attack

Picking one player, even Haaland or De Bruyne, for this battle is unfair to the exercise because let’s be real. There is no chance that Inter Milan wins this game without a supreme moment or two from its goalkeeper. Andre Onana has played every Champions League match for Inter and has had his fair share of outstanding performances. He’s outperformed expected goals on target by 6.7 goals over the course of the tournament.

How many times has a team won the treble? Man City goes for history


There’s been a lot of treble talk these days, talk that’s found a new level of buzz since Manchester City moved within one win of joining the club.

It’s an elite club, by the way, of teams that have won their domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Nine times in history has a team won the treble, and only once has it been done by a Premier League club.

[ MORE: Recalling Zlatan’s “unicorn” career ]

That’s why Man City’s defeat of Manchester United earlier this month in the FA Cup Final rings so true for the Citizens; The blue side of Manchester would join the red side as treble supporters, as United won the treble in 1998-99.

Man City goes for the third jewel of its treble crown on Saturday versus Inter Milan in Istanbul when it kicks off the UEFA Champions League Final.

For more treble trivia, head below the jump.

How many times has the treble been won?

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.