Manchester United face Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League, the Red Devils seeking to make amends following their dismal defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last weekend.
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s clash at the Amex:
How have they started the season?
The Seagulls have made a rather impressive start to the season so far and look to be a real threat to any side in the division, particularly with young stars Ben White and the electric Tariq Lamptey already showcasing their highly touted ability.
Graham Potter’s attractive style of play initially took time to settle last term as Brighton narrowly avoided relegation, yet if their opening two league fixtures are anything to go by, the 2020/21 season should see a marked improvement in what is the club’s fourth successive season in the top-flight.
Potter’s men put in a mighty courageous performance against big spenders Chelsea on the opening weekend and were unlucky to see themselves on the wrong side of a 3-1 scoreline, captain Lewis Dunk missing a glorious opportunity to make it 2-2 late in the second half. That spirited display was bettered last weekend as the South Coast side earned a comfortable 3-0 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park, the game seeing Neal Maupay bag a brace and young Lamptey once again steal the headlines.
As for the upcoming clash with United, Potter will likely make a number of changes from the side that beat Preston North End in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday – a win that will see Brighton face United in the fourth-round next week. One sour note will be the absence of midfielder Yves Bissouma following his late red card against the Magpies, yet defender Lamptey should be available despite being taken off as a precaution at the weekend.
After a summer rampant with transfer rumours and gossip, United began the season having made just one major summer signing in the form of young Ajax midfielder Donny Van de Beek.
That lack of transfer activity combined with a reduced pre-season looked to have taken its toll, as United were simply outplayed and outworked at Old Trafford, Roy Hodgson’s men grafting their way to an impressive 3-1 victory with former United man Wilfried Zaha at his scintillating best.
Whether or not that opening defeat is a sign of what is to come this season remains unclear, yet Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did oversee a relatively comfortable win over Luton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and still has time to make some much need additions as the transfer deadline approaches – Porto defender Alex Telles looking like a possible option this summer.
Having made ten changes in midweek, Solskjaer will likely revert back to the core of the side which lost to the Eagles, although Van de Beek could well be in with a shout for a start after a debut goal and a bright start to life in Manchester. In terms of injuries, the United boss remains without central defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones.
Last Meeting – Brighton 0-3 Manchester United, 30 June 2020
The Amex has not exactly been a happy hunting ground for United in recent seasons having lost two out of their three league meetings at the stadium since Brighton’s return to the top-flight, although the last of those meetings did see the Red Devils claim a comfortable 3-0 win in a Bruno Fernandes inspired display.
Mason Greenwood gave the visitors an early lead before Fernandes effectively sealed the points midway through the first half after a deflected effort found its way past ‘keeper Mat Ryan. With Brighton uncharacteristically lethargic, United went in search of a third and were duly rewarded following a fine counter-attack as Greenwood teed up the Portugal international for his second of the match.
That impressive win for the away side was symptomatic of their excellent post-lockdown form which saw them claim an unlikely third-placed finish, while Brighton finished the season just seven points above the drop zone in 15th
Predicted Line ups
Brighton: Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Alzate, Propper, March; Trossard, Maupay, Connolly.
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Bailly, Shaw; Matic, Pogba, Fernandes; Rashford, Greenwood, Martial.
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish readers can watch the match on BT Sport.
What time is kick off?
Man Utd 4/5