The game between City and Brighton today will be a far cry from the one witnessed last May. Both teams had achieved their aims for the season- City had won back the Premier League and Brighton had secured their aim of survival in their maiden Premier League campaign.
Yet Saturday’s fixture will be a far contrast to the end of season run around last May. Both teams have something realistic to play for. The home side are looking to go top of the league whereas Brighton are looking for their first win since August.
One man, in particular, will be looking to make all the difference when the two sides meet again – Bernardo Silva.
Silva hadn’t quite convinced everybody when he scored City’s second in the 3-1 win last May, he certainly will have done now.
The Portuguese has been City’s stand out performer in the opening six games, playing at his strongest when in the number ten role.
His form can only be highlighted on a rainy afternoon at Cardiff last week. Guardiola left out the Spanish Silva in the 5-0 thumping, yet he was not missed as Bernardo took over creative roles rather well.
Yet on Tuesday Bernardo was rested in The Carabao Cup at Oxford. A competition he got the majority of his action in early last season. David Silva took his place but on the back of their early season form, Guardiola has two silver linings on his hands.
So against a predictably stubborn Brighton, why not start both in advanced roles. Bernardo struggled out wide against Lyon last week, we all know it’s time for both Silva’s to take centre stage as City look to reach the summit of the table.
So far Bernardo has three goals in all competitions, including a goal in his last two games, yet it took him till January to reach that mark last season.
Dark nights are approaching fast at this time of year and the floodlights will be on a little bit longer at The Etihad very soon.
Yet on the pitch City don’t need to worry about the dark times that lie ahead when Bernardo’s in form. Playing alongside David, City will really start to light up the Premier League.