Brighton bank on surprise factor to upset City
REUTERS - Manchester City's unfamiliarity with Brighton and Hove Albion can help Chris Hughton's promoted side start their Premier League campaign with an upset win on Saturday, midfielder Solly March has said.
Brighton, who returned the top tier after a 34-year absence by finishing second in the Championship, last hosted City in a 2008 League Cup tie.
"It's going to be a challenge for everybody but we'll take it in our stride, compete and we'll surprise a few people," March told The Times newspaper.
"City are probably not going to know as much about us as we do about them. It's going to be tough for them... Our fans really get behind us and they're going to step it up even more because they know we need them even more. We're raring to go."
City have spent around 200 million pounds ($259.46 million) to strengthen their squad in the close-season with other title contenders including Chelsea and Manchester United also spending heavily to bolster their teams.
March believes that the high transfer fees are a reflection of the quality in the league but says Brighton are not intimidated by bigger teams or worried by the general consensus that they will be relegated after just one season.
"Some of the transfer fees are crazy but it shows how good these players are. I hope I can prove I'm just as good as them. But there's no fear," he added.
"We're not expected to beat teams like City. The odds are against us staying up. But that spurs us even more, everybody writing us off already, so I hope we can prove them wrong."
($1 = 0.7708 pounds)
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru)