Brighton boss confirms absence of key midfielder for Manchester City game

Brighton will be without star midfielder Pascal Gross when they travel to the Etihad Stadium this Saturday to face Manchester City.

The 27-year-old German has been a key figure for Chris Hughton’s side, finishing last season with an impressive 7 goals and 8 assists.

He started Brighton’s first four Premier League games of the new season, scoring in their 3-2 win over Manchester United, before injuring himself in the 2-2 draw against Fulham.

Gross has since missed fixtures with Southampton and Tottenham, with Hughton confirming at his press conference on Thursday that the player isn’t ready to face City – nor is fellow midfielder Dale Stephens.

“Dale felt his hamstring in the Spurs game and this game will come too soon for him,” said Hughton. “It will also be too soon for Pascal. Florin (Andone) is available, but a decision will be made on whether he plays a part.”

Having played 45 minutes for Brighton’s under-23s during the week after a knee injury, Jose Izquierdo is also major doubt to play any part when Brighton visit the Champions at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Hughton was full of praise for City and Pep Guardiola.

“Whether it’s instant or they earn it, the great managers have a great impact on a division. Pep [Guardiola] is producing some of the best football the Premier League has seen. These type of managers guide young, aspiring coaches on the way they want to play.”

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