Manchester United will go head to head with Brighton and Hove Albion in the opening Premier League match at Old Trafford this afternoon. The match will be officiated by Paul Tierney with Constantine Hatzidakis and Neil Davies as his assistants and Michael Salisbury as fourth official.
It will be the first official match for Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford and is a must win match with United seemingly limping into the season with so much work to be done in the transfer market. Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez will be seeking to make their debuts.
Brighton manager Graham Potter will be without Marc Cucurella, who has left for Chelsea this summer. Levi Colwill signed for Brighton from Chelsea on a season-long loan spell, so he could be looking to make his debut in this match.
Dalot, Maguire, Martinez, Shaw;
Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford;
Heaton; Malacia, Varane, Wan-Bissaka; van de Beek, Garner, Garnacho; Ronaldo, Elanga
Brighton and Hove Albion
Veltman, Dunk, Webster;
March, Lallana, Caicedo, Trossard;
Gross, Mac Allister;
Steele; Lamptey, Colwill, van Hecke; Mwepu, Mitoma; Undav, Maupay, Sarmiento
United have been largely positive during pre-season this summer, beating Liverpool, Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace in their opening three fixtures, drawing against Aston Villa in the final match in Australia before losing to Atlético Madrid and drawing with Rayo Vallecano.
Ten Hag’s United side seems to be better but there is a not of strengthening to be done at the club. United need another striker, another forward, a midfielder, a right-back and a backup goalkeeper. Whether that all gets done remains to be seen but it does not look all that positive.
United are expected to start the new Premier League season on a high, winning their first match and turning Old Trafford into a fortress once again. Last season will remain a memory but could be a certainty if Richard Arnold and John Murtough are unsuccessful in backing the manager.
Written by John Walker