Pep Guardiola's blunt response to Graham Potter's 'cuddle' request as their complicated relationship continues

Pep Guardiola insists there will no thoughts of revenge in his head when he takes his Manchester City to Brighton

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 12:08 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 12:10 pm
Pep Guardiola and Graham Potter will cross swords once more at the Amex Stadium this evening

City blew a 2-0 lead to be beaten 3-2 at the Amex last season after having Joao Cancelo sent off just 10 minutes into the match, in which Guardiola confronted Brighton boss Graham Potter who subsequently apologised for some over-zealous celebrations of his side’s opening goal.

The defeat was a setback for City in the final weeks of their build-up to the Champions League final, but Guardiola said it had not been part of his thinking this week.

“Absolutely not,” he said when asked if it was on his mind.

Potter said this week he was sorry for the actions which so upset Guardiola on the south coast and that he hoped to get “a cuddle” from the City boss this time around.

“We’ll shake hands before and after the game,” Guardiola said. “Like I do with all the managers before and after the game.”

The sight of Guardiola venting his frustration at Potter came only months after he had called the Brighton boss the best English manager in the country following City’s 1-0 win over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium.

That verdict is being borne out by Brighton’s superb start to the season – they will start the day fourth in the Premier League, only two points behind Guardiola’s defending champions.

“I know the game we are going to face tomorrow and exactly the game we are going to face tomorrow,” Guardiola said. “The players know it as well.”

Potter said:

“It was the first goal," said the Albion head coach when asked about the spat. “It was a poor reaction from me – an unintentional one, but still a poor one.

“Unfortunately I’m a human being that’s not perfect. I’ll shake his hand and hopefully he’ll give me a cuddle.”

“This is as tough as they come in football,” Potter added. “But at the same time it’s an exciting challenge. Our last game against City was big for us, it got us to 41 points.

But City have taken another step forward. Their performances against Liverpool and Chelsea were so impressive.”

Team news

Brighton defender Adam Webster could be available for the visit of champions Manchester City in the Premier League.

Webster has missed the Seagulls’ past five games in all competitions but returned to training this week and is hoping to prove his fitness.

Midfielders Yves Bissouma and Enock Mwepu are also in contention having recovered from knocks to be unused substitutes last week but Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and Steven Alzate (ankle) are still out. Brighton predicted line-up vs Man City.

Pep Guardiola has no fresh injury concerns after the midweek victory over Club Brugge in the Champions League.

John Stones, who was not in the squad in Belgium, is available to make the trip while Ederson and Gabriel Jesus – who both linked up with their team-mates in Brugge after missing last weekend’s win over Burnley following periods of isolation, are also available.

Ferran Torres is the only absentee as the Spain international continues his recovery from a metatarsal injury. Man City-predicted line-up vs BrightonBrighton provisional squad: Sanchez, Steele, Cucurella, Dunk, Duffy, Burn, Veltman, Webster, Lamptey, Roberts, Gross, Lallana, Bissouma, Mwepu, Richards, Moder, Mac Allister, March, Trossard, Maupay, Connolly, Locadia, Sarmiento.

Manchester City provisional squad: Ederson, Steffen, Carson, Walker, Cancelo, Stones, Ake, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Fernandinho, Rodri, De Bruyne, Foden, Sterling, Grealish, Mahrez, Silva, Palmer, Jesus.