Defensive duo will be key at both ends for Brighton against Manchester City - Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk will be key at both ends of the pitch in this afternoon's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City.

Friday, 5th April 2019, 3:32 pm
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 3:37 pm
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

The defensive duo have helped Albion keep six Premier League clean sheets this season and Duffy has netted five goals and Dunk two.

The central defenders will have their hands full up against City's attacking quality but Hughton also wants them to be a threat from set-pieces at the other end.

Albion's boss said: "If you look at our season so far and our contribution to goals, we have been good at set-plays and Shane in particular has had a good record.

"At the other end, we have a centre-halve partnership that in these type of games have had to work hard and with some support around them, we’ve needed them to keep us in the game, keep the scoreline down.

"They are going to be very important."

Hughton added Manchester City are one of the best teams he has ever faced. Pep Guardiola's side are still in the running for the quadruple and Hughton said: "If they're not the best, then they're very, very close to the best.

"The difficulty with City is they can open you up in so many different ways. And what’s added to their ammunition this season is a goalkeeper who can spray a pass from 40 to 50 yards and can get them on the attack.

"They can turn defence into attack so quickly. I think both Silvas - one has been there a long time, the other hasn’t - have added another dimension to their play.

"And of course there's the form of Sterling who has been absolutely outstanding this season. So if they're not the best, then they're very, very close to the best."