Albion can be massive party poopers on Sunday but the longshot is title chasers Manchester City suffer a spot of bother says Ryan Elliott.

The Result

There are very few occasions in football when the pressure is genuinely non-existent; where you can just enjoy watching your side, with little regard for consequence.

Albion’s trip to The Emirates last Sunday was a perfect example of such an occasion. The immense strain of a relegation battle clearly sucked the life out of the side, so it was an absolute joy to see Chris Hughton’s men put in such a confident, accomplished, competitive performance against one of the Premier League’s big boys.

This weekend, Albion have the opportunity to become kingmakers – or kingslayers. Everyone knows the deal by now: Manchester City win, and they become Premier League champions; Manchester City fail to win, and Liverpool become champions should they beat Wolves at Anfield (hardly a forgone conclusion).

A fortnight ago, Pep Guardiola claimed he hoped Albion were safe by the final day of the season, but I suspect the Spaniard didn’t enjoy watching the performance against Arsenal – the toothless, apprehensive pre-safety rabble we saw for so many months would’ve been a much more preferable opponent.

Of course, most aren’t giving Albion a prayer. It’s important to note the Seagulls haven’t lost by more than two goals against City in the Premier League era. City have been fairly comfortable in these fixtures, but this inability to put Albion to the sword means there’s always a chance. The heartbreak of narrowly losing in the FA Cup semi-final adds another layer of spice to proceedings.

Looking at the betting, the result that presents the most value is a Manchester City win and under 2.5 goals at 10/3. Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy will relish this challenge like they’ve never relished a challenge before, and I genuinely expect City to be frustrated for large portions of this match – like Spurs and Arsenal before them.

Ultimately however, it does look like their name is on the trophy. The relentlessness, the quality, it might just prove too much.

But in a week where we’ve been treated to some of the most incredible Champions League comebacks in recent memory, could one final, decisive Premier League twist be written in the stars?

The Banker

City have scored 91 Premier League goals this season, but my banker is for under 1.5 goals to be scored in the first-half – priced at 10/11.

Albion have conceded more than one first-half goal against top six opposition on only two occasions this season (Chelsea and Manchester United), and I have faith this pressure-free occasion—for the hosts, anyway—will be conducive to some characteristically heroic defending.

Three of City’s last four Premier League matches have ended in tense 1-0 victories, and over the course of the season they have gone from swashbuckling bringers-of-death to a mechanised, efficient killing-machine; the end result is invariably the same.

There will be points in the first-half—perhaps when Shane Duffy heads his eighth shot off the line—where some City fans will wonder if it’s really their year.

The Longshot

Albion have conceded ten penalties this season – the most in the Premier League. Couple this with the fact that City will be camped on the edge of the Seagulls’ penalty area for large parts of the game, and there’s surely a good chance of another.

But, I’ve added a little twist for this longshot: Manchester City to miss a penalty, priced at 9/1.

Maty Ryan has conceded every penalty he has faced in the Premier League this season, but Sergio Aguero has missed 29% of his spot-kicks for Manchester City, including a high-pressure one against Spurs in the Champions League, which ultimately proved decisive.

As an outside punt, this doesn’t look too shabby.