Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United Preview

Manchester United face Brighton & Hove Albion knowing a win would move them third and another step closer to securing Top Four this season. Of course, this is much easier said than done. Brighton have been fantastic this season despite managerial changes and sit eighth in the league but have played the fewest games in the league.

They could move as high as fifth if they play their games in hand which would be an amazing achievement. Brighton, like Newcastle, will want revenge after Manchester United dumped them out of a domestic cup at Wembley. They will hope for similar patterns as Newcastle found victory against United when back on home soil just over a month later.

United had a miserable last away trip to the Amex as they suffered a 4-0 defeat under Ralf Rangnick. Despite enduring a similarly disappointing 2-1 defeat to the Seagulls at home, they will hope for a better result this time round. Here’s all you need to know:

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United Match Information:

Teams: Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United
Date: Thursday 4th May 2023
Time: 20:00 BST
Location: The Amex Stadium
Managers: Roberto De Zerbi and Erik ten Hag
Referee: Andre Marriner

Manchester United Team News vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Manchester United remain without Donny van de Beek, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Scott McTominay. As of right now, Raphael Varane is the closest to returning of the four and may be ready for the end of the season, including the FA Cup Final. Alejandro Garnacho is back in training but Erik ten Hag confirmed that the Brighton game would come too soon for him to return to the matchday squad.

Harry Maguire missed the last two matches with a chest injury and the semi-final against Brighton due to suspension but returned off the bench against Aston Villa and make his first start in four games.

Interesting Facts:

  • Manchester United have lost their last two league matches against Brighton on an aggregate of 6-1. Before last season, Manchester United had won their last three games in a row at the Amex, scoring nine goals.
  • Marcus Rashford has scored four times already against Brighton in 13 games – including 10 wins. Rashford has only won more games against West Ham (11).
  • Manchester United have not drawn a league match against Brighton since 1983. They have either won (7) or lost (4).

Predicted XI:

I believe Erik ten Hag may make a few changes to his team. I think Aaron Wan-Bissaka has to start this game, his battle with Mitoma was excellent and he truly kept the Japanese international at bay. Victor Lindelof was very impressive against Aston Villa and should start this game too along with club-captain Harry Maguire, allowing Luke Shaw to return to left back.

Harry Maguire’s only start against Brighton since February 2022 came in the opening day defeat to the Seagulls

The midfield will certainly be interesting. As, in my opinion, United are more than likely to be the team with less possession. So will Ten Hag play into that and have one of Fred or Sabitzer instead of Eriksen? I doubt from the get go. I think the idea will be to aim to control play but I am not sure United will. Of course, this will be with Casemiro and Bruno alongside the Dane.

Antony should probably start this one with Rashford on the left and Martial up top to begin with. Sancho played well against Spurs but was slightly less effective against Villa and will probably start on the bench tomorrow.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial

Predicted Score:

It’s really hard for me to predict United will win this one. Brighton are scoring goals for fun and even when they rest players, their system works and flourishes. No Mitoma, no MacAllister, no Ferguson or Caicedo and they hit Wolves for six. I think United will give them chances and the back line will have to defend a lot of crosses. I do think United can get something from the Brighton game but they have to be on it. I’ll go for the first ever draw in Premier League history between the two sides. But of the two sides to win the game, my bet is on Brighton.

United to draw 1-1

Author: Arjun Handa

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