Manchester United will face Brighton And Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. The match will not be shown live on television in the United Kingdom. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has managed to get his team back to winning ways once against after losing to Bournemouth last weekend, beating Partizan Belgrade 3-0 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
This season has not been the best for Solskjaer or United but the fans that matter are supporting the manager and the club when it matters. Those who just want to moan, will be left to do just that. Many ‘fans’ on social media demand Solskjaer is sacked, when in actual fact, the club seem to be sticking with him at this moment in time. That could change though.
United have a squad capable of improving, especially this season with some investment no made in key areas in the summer with some talented youth coming through the ranks, who have all made some impact in the team this season but could be doing more to see themselves in the squad regularly. Those in development will come through.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The Spanish number one was rested on Thursday evening against Partizan Belgrade, leaving him fresh to face Brighton in the last match before the final international break of 2019. De Gea has done well this season and he will be seeking another clean sheet, to add to the two he has kept in the Premier League already this season. United need to start getting results in the league as they already trail Liverpool, the league leaders by 18 points, which is only going to get much bigger. However, if they get three points this weekend, they could well be in with a better chance of achieving finishing in the top half of the table. They are ten points adrift of fourth place right now.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Marcos Rojo, Brandon Williams
The defence may have some problems at the moment through injury and suspension with both Ashley Young (suspended) and Luke Shaw (injured) out of action. Aaron Wan-Bissaka played on Thursday, even though I expected him not to. Whereas Brandon Williams did not play, when I expected him to. Both will have to play against Brighton as they are the only fit fullbacks in the squad. Marcos Rojo can play at left-back but I believe him partnering Harry Maguire in the middle of the defence will be much better for him. Victor Lindelof has not trained this week so may not have the fitness to start.
Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred
The midfield is at barebones at this stage of the season. Scott McTominay and Fred has played in the last four matches together. The main problem will be whether McTominay is fit to face Brighton after coming off in the 75th minute against Partizan Belgrade with a minor injury. Solskjaer thinks he is more likely to be able to play against this weekend than not. He will be a big loss if he is not fit to play. James Garner, who made his Old Trafford debut on Thursday, could step into the role. Fred should keep his place after a string of confident performances, showing the type of midfielder he is. Playing more will help him find his feet properly.
Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford
The trio of Mason Greenwood, Juan Mata, and Marcus Rashford worked well against Partizan Belgrade. I think two of them will start against Brighton; Greenwood and Rashford. Daniel James could play in the role Mata played in on Thursday, perhaps playing as a second striker, rather than a number ten. I feel he is better on the wing but Rashford can perform on the left and Greenwood did well on the right on Thursday. This could help United get back to winning ways against Brighton.
Striker: Anthony Martial
The Frenchman has now scored five goals in all competitions this season, scoring three times since returning from injury against Liverpool a few weeks ago. Against Partizan Belgrade, Martial put in a good performance as a striker, doing all he needed to do to ensure the club won the match and earned a place into the round of 32 in the Europa League this season. With the Frenchman in some good form, perhaps he could continue by finding more goals, whether he scores them himself of assists them.
Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Victor Lindelof; Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, James Garner; Tahith Chong
Beating Brighton will be important for this squad to get back to winning ways in the Premier League after a lack lustre match away to Bournemouth last weekend. Players on the bench could be important in order to get something from the game. Sergio Romero will be back on the bench for United with Victor Lindelof possible back in action, not getting the start though.
Juan Mata played well against Partizan Belgrade, so he could find himself on the bench to come on later in the game to offer something going forward. The likes of Andreas Pereira, James Garner, who made his Old Trafford debut on Thursday could see some action if needed. Garner might actually start of McTominay is injured. Tahith Chong could be the attacking player to be an option off the bench.