Manchester United vs Brighton Preview

After a long wait, Manchester United return to Premier League action and host Brighton on Sunday. A new manager, new additions but still issues circle the club. A failure to get in the required players as of yet has left plenty of United fans frustrated and worried for the upcoming season. Especially since every team around them and more importantly, above them have improved their squads. But for now, the transfer sagas become irrelevant and unimportant as all that matters is the first 90 minutes of the Ten Hag reign in the Premier League. Here’s all you need to know:

Manchester United vs Brighton Match Information:

Teams: Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion
Date: Sunday 7th August 2022
KO Time: 14:00 GMT
Managers: Erik ten Hag and Graham Potter
Stadium: Old Trafford
Referee: Paul Tierney

Team News:

Manchester United:

Manchester United have a big issue in hand up front. It wasn confirmed yesterday that Anthony Martial would miss the game due to a minor hamstring tweak. He will be likely ready to play Brentford the week after but is set to miss the opening game after an impressive pre-season. Cristiano Ronaldo may not be fit enough to play and may not be used anyway due to his unwillingness to play the way Ten Hag wants. Both Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho are available for selection after missing the last two pre-season games due to illness. Brandon Williams and Facundo Pellistri are injured and unavailable for selection. Garnacho and Iqbal were not selected for the U23’s game and so are likely to make the first team squad tomorrow. It will certainly be interesting to see how United lineup.

Brighton & Hove Albion:

Graham Potter announced that he has only one major injury concern with Jakob Moder. Potter confirmed the rest of his squad is available for selection. Brighton lost two big players in Cucurella and Bissouma to Chelsea and Spurs respectively. However this allows Solly March and Pascal Gross to return to the starting XI and both of whom have scored against United in the past. It may be a coin toss between former-Red, Danny Welbeck and Neal Maupay to start up front but chances are that Welbeck gets the nod as his record against United is better than most.

Interesting Facts:

  • Manchester United have only lost once in their last eight appearances against Brighton, coming earlier this year in a humbling 4-0 defeat.
  • Bruno Fernandes has notched four goals and 2 assists in five appearances against Brighton, drawing a blank just once in that time.
  • Danny Welbeck has four goals in ten games against United. However, he has a 70% losing record when playing against his former club.
  • Manchester United have only lost one opening day fixture in the last eight seasons – a 1-3 defeat to Crystal Palace in 2020. They have won every other one since the 2014/15 season.

Predicted XI:

I think a lot of the team picks itself. There is only one goalkeeping option right now and even though I’m not convinced it will be for much longer, David de Gea will start as first choice goalkeeper. Dalot has impressed on pre-season and will habve demons to exorcise against Brighton. Maguire is guaranteed to start and it seems so is Martinez. It will be the first time the two have played together in a full match and so this will be an interesting viewing. Malacia has been impressive on tour and Shaw has had significantly fewer minutes so it may be worth giving the Dutchman his full debut and letting Shaw get fully up to speed in due time.

In midfield, there should not be any real objection to McTominay and Fred now. If Frenkie and/or another midfielder is signed then there is a real debate. Donny failed to impress and I think Garner needs more time before being a regular. You could argue Eriksen could come in and Ten Hag could play a three with one out-and-out defensive midfielder. But for now, have the security McFred offer and go from there. Bruno of course will start in the 10 role.

The front three could provide a statement. No Martial means Ronaldo would seem to have a free run at leading the line. I personally think not. If Elanga starts and pushes Rashford into the number 9 role, it wouldn’t be a fixed position and would be more like a fluid front three that will drift and change positions. If it doesn’t work then United have options off the bench like Donny, Garnacho, Eriksen or even Ronaldo if he is ready to play.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Dalot, Maguire, Martinez, Malacia; McTominay, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Elanga; Rashford

Manchester United vs Brighton Predicted Score:

I think United will want to show they mean business. They have shown a lot of promise on pre-season and some of the goals they scored were phenomenal. They could start explosively and try and hit Brighton hard and fast. I can see it being a good win on the opening day for Erik ten Hag.

Predicted Score: United to win 2-0

Author: Arjun Handa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.