Manchester City will be up against a Brighton and Hove Albion side determined to spoil their title party on Sunday, according to Shane Duffy, who is ignoring pleas from Everton fans to let Pep Guardiola’s men keep Liverpool from winning the Premier League.
Duffy, who was voted Brighton’s Player of the Year this season, spent five years at Everton but will be doing City no favours out of loyalty to his former club.
With the Seagulls already safe from relegation and City needing a victory at the Amex Stadium to be crowned back-to-back champions, few are expecting anything other than an away win but that is not the case in the Brighton dressing room.
“All the players are excited to spoil the party,” Duffy told the Guardian. “I’ve had a few Everton fans texting me, telling me to let them through but I’m professional.
“I’m not at Everton any more. I’m at Brighton and this is my club now.
“We can’t really get sucked into what favours we do for some people and not for others. We’re footballers. We have a job to do.”
Brighton boss Chris Hughton admitted City would be unstoppable if they play at their best, but took hope from his side’s performance in their 1-0 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Guardiola’s men.
Goals from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero gave City a 2-0 Premier League victory over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium in September, but Hughton said his players showed they were capable of giving the champions a game.
“I don’t think too many people expect us to get a result,” said Hughton.
“But there is no doubt we are going into this game with a better feeling than two weeks ago when we were in a very difficult period and hadn’t secured Premier League status.
“That takes a bit of pressure off players. We showed that at Arsenal. We will definitely have to show that again to have any chance on Sunday and we’ll have to be committed.
“We can win any game, if the elements are in our favour and we play well enough. But we’ll also be reliant on them not being at their best. If City play at the level they can, there’s only one winner.
“We played well enough in the semi-final to give us that bit of confidence going into that game, something to grab hold of, and we’ll have to defend well. But we’re capable of doing that.”