Manchester United returns to Premier League action on Sunday evening after the two-week international break as we look to bounce back after the FA Cup exit to Leicester City. We had lost this game 3-1 but in the Premier League, we currently sit second one point above the Foxes. We welcome Brighton to Old Trafford, who themselves will be looking to assure their safety in the league for another season.
The Red Devils have had a fortnight to stew over the disappointing loss at the King Power Stadium and it leaves us fighting for silverware on the one front, the Europa League. After the league game against Brighton, we faced Spanish side Granada in the quarter-finals of Europe’s second-tier competition. United still has much work to do in the league as we look to secure second place with the chances of catching league leaders Manchester City now over with their 15 point gap.
In terms of league form, we have won back-to-back matches against both Manchester City and West Ham. We are now nine games unbeaten in the Premier League. With rivals City heading towards the title, United will be looking to be the best of the rest. We have a great chance to put a further stronghold on second place with a victory of Brighton as third place Leicester City play the league leaders on Saturday.
We are coming into the final stretch of the Premier League season. United has some important fixtures to contend with as we faced the likes of Tottenham, Leicester, Leeds, and Liverpool. We cannot afford any slip-ups that might give our rivals the chance to overtake us for a top-four place.
Brighton comes into this game following the back-to-back wins against Southampton and Newcastle beating them 2-1 and 3-0 respectively. Before these wins, they had been on a three-game winless run and look to be in serious relegation trouble.
The Seagulls are six points clear of the relegation zone and probably know if they can get two or three wins in their last nine remaining league games, they will seal their place in the Premier League for another season. Brighton does not have the greatest record against United as they have lost their five meetings in all competitions. They have not won in the last 12 attempts, having lost the last 6 of those games.
Manchester United vs Brighton Match Details
Teams: Manchester United vs Brighton
Date: April 4th, 2020 (Sunday)
KO Time: 19:30 BST
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Referee: Mike Dean
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Graham Potter
Manchester United Team News
For manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær, it will be the decision over who starts in goal, David De Gea and Dean Henderson. The Spanish stopper has returned to United following the recent birth of his child. Henderson who has been between the sticks for the last six games may have to make way here. Though he is likely to be the number one choice for the remainder of the Europa League games.
Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood who sustained knocks before the international break are now back in training. Solskjær said in his press conference, “they [Marcus and Mason] need to get through the session tomorrow [Saturday]. They both joined in this morning and hopefully they don’t get any reaction. If they complete the session tomorrow they’ll be available for selection.”
Concerns remain over the fitness of Anthony Martial and Victor Lindelof. This may see Eric Bailly partner Harry Maguire in the centre of the defence.
Manchester United vs Brighton Pre-Match Press Conference
During the pre-match press conference, Ole was asked about our opponents Brighton and their current form. He said, “Since I came, we’ve played them quite a few times. We’ve always had some hard-fought games, difficult games. As I said here, to our local channel MUTV as well, when you prepare for a game against Brighton, you can see all our players with wide eyes. We really respect the way they play and the quality that they’ve had against us. We have to be on our best to earn the right to play, because you have to work really hard to get the ball off them.”
Ole was also asked about the goalkeeping situation and who will be starting, whether it be Dean Henderson or David De Gea. He said, “You know, I have the great option of two great goalkeepers. It’s a pleasure to have them here. We got, hopefully, nine plus five games to go. We want to go all the way in the Europa League as well. I’m sure you’ll see both of them playing in goal for us.”
Brighton Team News
For our opponents, Aaron Connolly had been injured whilst on international duty but has overcome this and will likely feature against United. Manager Graham Potter mentioned in his press conference that, “everybody’s back from the internationals. All the tests have come through fine and we have no new injuries. It’s been a positive international break for us and we’re in a good place. The squad is as it was for Newcastle.”
Brighton will be without a number of players including Florin Andone, Solly March, Adam Webster, and Tariq Lamptey who are sidelined with injuries. Former United player, Danny Welbeck who has scored and assisted in his last two games is expected to start in the attack alongside Neal Maupay
Manchester United Premier League form: DWDDWW
Manchester United form (all competitions): DWDWWL
Brighton Premier League form: DLLLWW
- Manchester United have won each of their last five meetings against Brighton in all competitions, netting exactly three goals in each of the last four. (source: Opta)
- 23 percent of the goals scored in Premier League meetings between Manchester United and Brighton have been from the penalty spot (5/22). (source: Opta)
- United are looking to keep five consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since August 2017. (source: Opta)
- In his two Premier League appearances against Brighton, Bruno Fernandes has been involved in four of Manchester United’s six goals against the Seagulls (three goals, one assist). (source: Opta)
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has never lost against Brighton as the United boss. Before his appointment, United had lost back-to-back games against the Seagulls (1-0 and 3-2).
- Lewis Dunk has scored against United once but scored two own goals in United’s favour, the most recent coming in the 3-2 win for United earlier in the campaign.
Manchester United vs Brighton Predicted Lineup
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, Fred; James, Fernandes, Rashford, and Cavani.
The international break probably came at the right time for United as our form had been up and down before this. The two-week break gave those players who did not feature for their respective countries a much needed rest. We will want to see a response from the United players following the FA Cup defeat against Leicester City as we head into the business end of the season. Brighton is a side that plays intelligent attacking football and so it will give us the chance to be more open with our own attack.
We need to be on the front foot and look to get the first goal early on to settle any nerves down. Defensively we have more assured recently in the league and if we do not concede against Brighton, it will be five consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since August 2017.
Manchester United 2-0 Brighton