Manchester City Women vs Brighton: Team news, predicted line-ups, how to watch, key quotes and head-to-head
The Academy Stadium hosts its first game of the season on Sunday | (Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Manchester City play Brighton and Hove Albion in the second weekend of the Women's Super League on Sunday, with both sides coming in to the game after 2-0 victories in the opening round.

City faced Aston Villa at Villa Park last weekend, Georgia Stanway capitalising on two defensive errors to score a comfortable brace and earn three points in the season opener.

Hope Powell's Albion were 2-0 victors at home to Birmingham City, with second-half goals from Megan Connolly and debutant Inessa Kaagman securing the win.

The Seagulls will be looking to win back-to-back top-flight matches for the very first time, while Gareth Taylor will hope to become only the fourth manager to win his first two WSL games.

Team news

Manchester City

It has been an eventful week off the pitch for the blues, with the long-awaited additions of Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood from Lyon finally having been confirmed. 

The duo are already in training and may be able to feature in Sunday's game. As well as this, USWNT international Rose Lavelle has completed her quarantine period and joined the blues for training this weekend and Lavelle may be in contention for the match, although she has only recently returned to football.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton secured the services of Ireland striker Denise O'Sullivan on deadline day with the 26-year-old signing on loan from the North Carolina Courage until the end of the calendar year. O'Sullivan has already completed her quarantine period and will be available for selection this weekend.

Lee Geum-min made her debut for Brighton last weekend against Birmingham but will be unavailable to play in Sunday's game as she is on loan from Manchester City.

Predicted lineups

Manchester City: Roebuck; Bronze, Houghton, Bonner, Stokes; Mewis, Walsh, Weir; Beckie, Stanway, Kelly

Brighton and Hove Albion: Walsh; Gibbons, Williams, Le Tissier, Stott; Kaagman, Bowman; Connolly, Bowman; Robinson, O'Sullivan; Whelan

Ones to watch

Manchester City - Chloe Kelly

22-year-old forward Chloe Kelly joined the blues from Everton in the summer after a brilliant season with the Toffees and has impressed in her first few games with Manchester City.

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Making her debut in the Community Shield, Kelly's pace up top and ability on the ball has provided a number of good opportunities for the blues, although she has not yet got on the scoresheet.

After Lauren Hemp picked up a hamstring injury in the curtain-raiser at Wembley, Kelly has been deployed on the left-side of a front three and was arguably City's best player against Aston Villa last weekend.

Kelly, as well as current city right-back Esme Morgan, scored for Everton in their home game against the Seagulls last October and she will be looking to replicate that on Sunday.

Brighton and Hove Albion - Inessa Kaagman

Another player who was at Everton last year, Netherlands international Inessa Kaagman made the move to the south coast over the summer.

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She was impressive in the Seagulls' tie against Birmingham City last weekend, recording a goal on her debut as well as impressing at the back.

Kaagman can play as either a defender or a midfielder and may be crucial for Brighton if they are to keep out Manchester City's attacking firepower.

Manchester City - Rose Lavelle

Key signing Rose Lavelle may be able to make her Manchester City debut this weekend after completing her time in quarantine.

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The USWNT international, who most recently played for the Washington Spirit in the NWSL Challenge Cup, has signed a one-year-deal and joined the blues' training this week.

Speaking to the club website, Lavelle said: "Getting in with the team and training has been super fun and the girls have been really welcoming and I'm really looking forward to continuing to do so

"It's amazing. It has been everything I expected and then some

"You know this is a world-class facility but when you come here and experience it yourself it's a whole different level"

Brighton and Hove Albion - Denise O'Sullivan

Available to play this weekend after completing her quarantine, new signing O'Sullivan is a big one for Brighton.

The Ireland forward was named as the North Carolina Courage's team MVP in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons, starting 22 out of 23 games in 2019 and having a pass success rate of 84%.

She has won the NWSL Championship twice with the Courage and also had a decorated spell with Glasgow City in the SWPL, winning the league and the Scottish Women's Cup three times.

Last time out

The two met once last season, back in December of 2019, when the hosts were 5-0 victors at the Academy Stadium

Manchester City have won the three previous top-flight meetings with Brighton by an aggregate score of 14-0, with this the third meeting in a row between the sides to come at the Academy Stadium.

Form guide

Manchester City: WLDWWW

Brighton and Hove Albion: WLWDWL

Where to watch on TV and Stream

The game, which kicks off at 2pm BST on Sunday, will be able to be viewed around the globe on the FA Player.

Manchester City will also be showing the game on their City+ service, with Aoife Mannion and Megan Campbell guests on the pre-match 'We're Not Really Here' show.

Key quotes

Bronze on quality of the WSL

After making the move from Lyon to Manchester this week, Lucy Bronze talked about the number of recent top-level additions in the Women's Super League:

"There’s a number of them [new signings in the league] I think - each week, I’m going to be rubbing my hands together excited at these different match-ups I get to try myself against."

"Obviously with Tobin [Heath] and Christen Press at United now, which is going to be a rival game anyway. To match up with one of them - that’d be cool, but there’s so many good players now.

"Pernille Harder, someone I played against in the Champions League final as well, someone I enjoyed playing against. My favourite games I was playing against the best players, so it’s kind of great now that there’s so many attacking players within the league that I get to match up against.

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"Something that I had in training every day at Lyon was playing against the best wingers, and now I’m going to have it in pretty much every game playing up against these top wingers, top attackers, top strikers.

"There’s a list of them: Vivianne Miedema I know is probably not directly up against me, but I’ve probably not played that much against her, so it will be nice to play up and close against her, especially more recently now when she’s had such a good season last year."

O'Sullivan on Brighton move

Speaking to the Brighton and Hove Albion website when she was announced as a Seagulls player, Denise O'Sullivan spoke of her excitement to get started with Hope Powell's side:

“I am very excited to have joined Brighton & hove Albion,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to challenge myself with a talented squad in a league that’s becoming more and more competitive.

“It was a bit frustrating having to quarantine for a couple of weeks, but I have kept myself in shape and I’m looking forward to helping the club move forward.”

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