Manchester United will battle with Brighton and Hove Albion in the Emirates FA Cup semi final at Wembley Stadium this afternoon. United’s bid for the UEFA Europa League ended on Thursday evening in a 3-0 defeat to Sevilla in Spain, losing 5-2 on aggregate across both legs of the quarter final clash. United were hoping to add another trophy to their Carabao Cup victory this season, which will now have to be the FA Cup or bust. But United will need to be up for it.
Serious questions have been asked about some United players after their performances against Sevilla on Thursday evening. David De Gea did not have a good game at all. Harry Maguire seems to have so much bad luck playing for United that is just does not bode well for the future and Anthony Martial has not laced his own boots with glory with his injury prone season and lack of firepower up front when it really matters. The end to the season could be abysmal for United.
The injuries to key players has cost United with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez on the sidelines with the Argentinian out for the remainder of the season. United have just one fit central defender for Sunday’s match with Maguire suspended for the clash, which can only be a good thing based on his last two appearances against Sevilla. Brighton have already beaten United this season still with a meeting in the Premier League yet to come with United needing to finish in the top four.
Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Shaw, Dalot;
Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;
Butland; Malacia, Williams; Sabitzer, Fred, Pellistri; Sancho, Weghorst, Elanga
Brighton and Hove Albion
Gross, Webster, Dunk, Estupinan;
Caicedo, Mac Allister;
March, Enciso, Mitoma;
Steele, Colwill, Undav, Ayari, Gilmour, Van Hecke, Veltman, Buonotte, Offiah
United and Brighton have met 29 times in all competitions in the history of both clubs. United have won 19 of those matches, drawing five and losing five. In the FA Cup, the two teams have met seven times with United winning five times, drawing twice. United have scored 14 goals, conceding four and keeping five clean sheets in the FA Cup. The two teams have played each other in 1909, 1981, 1983, 1993 and 2018 in the competition with replays in 1981 and 1983.
The last time the two times met in the FA Cup was back in 2018 at the quarter final stage of the competition which was played at Old Trafford. United won the match 2-0 with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic. United have faced Brighton 11 times since that match, winning seven times and losing four times. The last two meetings with Brighton have been defeats for United, losing 4-0 and 2-1. United will need to find the ability to beat them if they want to reach the final.
Danny Welbeck is the only current player to have a history with both teams but in the past the likes of Oliver Norwood, James Wilson, Jesse Lingard, Tomasz Kuszczak, Robbie Savage, Frank Stapleton, Andy Ritchie and Mickey Thomas have all played for both United and Brighton.Welbeck has made 79 appearances for Brighton, scoring 17 goals and a further nine assists. This season has been positive for him with five goals and three assists, playing better in this half of the season.
Written by John Walker