Aug 11 (Reuters) - Promoted Brighton & Hove Albion host Premier League title favourites Manchester City at the Amex Stadium on Saturday as they kick off their 2017/18 campaign.
The south coast club’s last home game in the top flight was a 1-0 defeat by City on May 7 1983.
City manager Pep Guardiola will be under pressure from the start after strengthening his squad with five new signings in the transfer window, costing the club some $286 million.
Here is what the fans have to say about their teams:
Tim Carder - Secretary, Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters’ Club ”I am old enough to remember the last (and only) time we were in the old First Division, from 1979 to 1983. In the 34 years since we have experienced highs and very many lows.
”The match against Manchester City, our debut in the Premier League, will also be one of the club’s greatest-ever occasions. ...I want to see my club competing against the best in the land, and to see some of the best players in the world gracing the turf of the Amex Stadium.
”It’s going to be tough, very tough. Manchester City are many pundits’ favourites for the title this year. There’s a gulf between Albion and City. But then there was in 2008 when we were a League One side, City were newly-crowned the ‘world’s richest club’ already with many star players – and we beat them in the League Cup at our humble Withdean Stadium home.
”So although it will be difficult to get a point or three against Manchester City, it’s not impossible. Perhaps we’ve got to ensure that all our players give their all and hope that City are off-colour, but it can happen that way. I think it will be a draw. We are strong defensively and I predict 1-1.
”It’s important, but it’s not absolutely essential to get the season off to a winning start. Back in 1979, when we made the same step-up, we lost 4-0 at home to Arsenal.
”We spent the first three months in the bottom places. But then we won at Nottingham Forest (who were then European champions), gained some confidence, put some runs together, and finished well clear of the relegation zone.
”So whatever happens at the start of the season – and of course I hope we get off to a flier - we must stay calm and remember that it’s where we are in the table after 38 games that matters, not the first few.
“Like every club that’s promoted to the Premier League, it’s to finish 17th or higher. That is the top (and only) priority, and the club will do all it can to achieve that.”
Mark Bent – Manchester City season ticket holder
”My family and I were fortunate enough to travel across seven states, driving over 2,000 miles, following Manchester City on tour (in America) this summer and we had the most fantastic time.
”If we can keep (captain) Vincent Kompany fit and in the team alongside the new signings, then I think we have everything ready for a very successful 2017/18 campaign.
”Going forward, I don’t think that there is anyone who can match us because we have so many attacking options and great players.
”I have a feeling that we will score early and get a good win against Brighton on Saturday. I’m going to be brave and say the game will finish 4-0.
”There’s a huge gulf between the Championship and the top Premier League teams and having watched City in pre-season, they look like they are in the mood for a good start. I think we’re in for plenty of goals and a decent City win.
”Anthony Knockaert seems to be one of Brighton’s better players. I saw him on the TV last season, but it will depend on how he and the other players adjust to the Premier League. It will be hard for them to stay up, especially the first time around. “I would like to see Pep Guardiola stay even if City didn’t win a trophy, but the reality of football is that he would most likely be sacked if we have another season like the last one. I am backing him to deliver this time around, though. ”I am pleased with the business City have done in the transfer window so far. I think we have addressed the defensive issues that we had last season and the players Guardiola has brought in are strong and fast. Bernardo Silva will give us options in midfield and Ederson looks like a confident goalkeeper. (Editing by Ken Ferris)