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Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United

Man United celebrate

Manchester United victorious 3-2

United travel to Brighton in the weekend’s lunchtime kick-off, as they look to earn their first Premier League points of the season.

The two teams will play each other twice in the span of five days at the Amex Stadium.

The league meeting will be followed by a 4th Round Carabao Cup tie on Wednesday. 

The hosts enter Saturday’s fixture on the back of three successive wins in all competitions. They scored nine goals and did not concede in those games.

The Reds are coming off a comfortable win at Luton, but suffered a forgettable home loss in their opening league fixture.

Here’s all the essential info ahead of the game:

Team News

Brighton & Hove Albion

Midfielder Yves Bissouma is ruled out through suspension. He was sent off for his accidental-but-dangerous kick to the face of Jamal Lewis during last weekend’s win over Newcastle United. This will be the second of his three-match suspension.

Forward Aaron Connolly and defender Tariq Lamptey are both minor doubts. But, they are expected to shake off their problems and be available. 

The latter, who has been impressive since breaking into the first team, was taken off on Tyneside during the weekend. Manager Graham Potter revealed that it was merely a precaution and nothing else.

Jose Izquierdo, Florin Andone and Christian Walton continue to remain sidelined. However , midfielder Dale Stephens has left for Burnley in recent days.

The trio of Davy Propper, Pascal Gross and Alexis Mac Allister all had impressive midweek performances. It’s possible either one or all three could force their way into the starting XI.

Tariq Lamptey looks set to recover from a knock and start

Manchester United

Bar skipper Harry Maguire, the team that took the pitch at Kenilworth Road had a different outlook to the one that featured against The Eagles.

Ole rotated his squad and gave players much-needed game time and match fitness.

Among those, were the likes Dean Henderson, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata. All turned in performances that gave Ole food for thought. 

It was a good run out for the squad players due to the lack of a pre-season.

Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones continue to be out. However, the former is already back in full training and shouldn’t be too far from a comeback in the first-team.

Eric Bailly is in contention to start

Previous Meeting

Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Manchester United 3

Both clubs met as recently as June, during the restart of the league.

The Reds were convincing victors in a game which saw Mason Greenwood grab one and Bruno Fernandes score a brace, one of which was from a breakaway counter – reminiscent of Sir Alex teams in yesteryears.

It was also our first win on the seaside since The Seagulls’ promotion to the top tier in 2017.

We were 3-0 winners in the previous trip

The result was achieved during an impressive unbeaten run that clawed back Leicester City’s lead. It propelled the team to eventually clinch third in the final league standings and qualify for the Champions League.

Match Facts

  • The home side last managed back-to-back league victories in November 2019
  • Albion are unbeaten in all 11 Premier League games in which striker Neal Maupay has scored
  • Midfielder Pascal Gross has provided either a goal or an assist in each of his past four league appearances against Manchester United. Two of his three goals in this fixture were winners
  • United haven’t won their first away league fixture in either of the past two seasons, including a defeat at Brighton in 2018-2019
  • The Red Devils are unbeaten in seven Premier League away matches since a 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on January 19 (W5 D2)
  • Graham Potter and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were opposition players when Manchester United were infamously beaten 6-3 by Southampton at The Dell in the Premier League in October 1996.

Thoughts on the game

The midweek win over Championship hotshots Luton Town was Ole’s 50th as Manchester United boss across all competitions. It’s a milestone he has reached quicker than two of the greatest in Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Indeed, his tally of 92 games in which to chalk up half a century of wins is behind only Ernest Mangnall (78) and Jose Mourinho (81). Yet, anything other than a 51st win at the helm this weekend may prompt more whispers regarding his suitability for the role.

Graham Potter’s side will go into what will ordinarily be a daunting double-header full of confidence, not least as they’ve won two of their three Premier League home games against United, while also starting the season playing attractive, winning football.

Graham Potter

Even in their opening day defeat to Chelsea, the Seagulls created plenty of opportunities and could just as easily have taken a point. It’s a sign of progression from last season. They’ve looked more secure at the back while looking adventurous going forward.

Prediction:

It promises to be a fascinating contest and given last weekend’s results, one that we should be vary about of.

However, the visitors have already got two competitive games under their belt and truthfully, can’t get much worse after the last game.

The suspension of Yves Bissouma for Brighton will be a boost for United. He’s been impressive thus far and his absence in the midfield increases United stronghold there.

Keep it tight at the back, stop Brighton’s nifty players from getting into spaces and causing damage. Do that, along with rediscovering the attacking rhythm, and it’ll be a comfortable win.

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