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.
Predicted Starting XI: United have the goals in them to send Brighton back to the South Coast pointless after clash at Old Trafford.
Manchester United: David De Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Marcos Rojo, Brandon Williams; Scott McTominay, Fred; Mason Greenwood, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford; Anthony Martial
Brighton and Hove Albion: Mathew Ryan; Martin Montoya, Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Dan Burn; Pascal Gross, Davy Propper, Dale Stephens, Steven Alzate; Neal Maupay, Aaron Connolly
Key Battles: Harry Maguire to battle Neal Maupay, Marcus Rashford to battle Martin Montoya, and Anthony Martial to battle Lewis Dunk.
Key Battle One: Harry Maguire versus Neal Maupay
The £80 million man has helped to improve United’s defence this season but has still not hit his best form for his new club. United have conceded 11 goals this season, one more than second-placed Manchester City, two more than league leaders Liverpool. Maguire has an 80% tackle success in the league this season, also having 16 interceptions and 45 clearances – 31 of them headed. Maguire averages nearly 62 passes per match.
Neal Maupay could give Maguire a game as he will be seeking to add to his four-goal tally in the league this season. Maupay averages around 18 passes per match, and has had 36 shots on goal this season – 11 of those have been on target. Maupay has missed two big chances, which could be something that Maguire will get the better of anyway but with his teammates, the Brighton player will be seeking another scalp over United.
Key Battle Two: Marcus Rashford versus Martin Montoya
Marcus Rashford has played 11 times in the league this season, scoring five goals, assisting a further three. Having an involvement in eight goals in 11 appearances is pretty good, although many will still not be happy with that this season. Rashford has a 40% shooting accuracy, so has room for improvement there and he also averages around 24 passes per match. He has missed four big chances this season in the league alone.
Martin Montoya could be tasked with keeping an eye on Rashford as he can playing on the left-wing, which is where he has been most dangerous this season. Montoya has a 52% tackles success, has recovered the ball 42 times this season, also making 14 interceptions and 10 clearances. He averages around 42 passes per match and also has an assist to his name this season. Rashford may have a battle on his hands this weekend.
Key Battle Three: Anthony Martial versus Lewis Dunk
Anthony Martial has played six times in the Premier League this season, because of injury, and has scored three goals in the league. He has a 62% shooting accuracy, which is pretty good considering he has sat out many matches due to injury and has only just started to gain some form again. The Frenchman has missed three big chances in the league, so improvement will be necessary in order to carry United forward.
Lewis Dunk, the player who was tipped to replace Maguire at Leicester City this summer could well be the player in-between Martial and a goal on Sunday. Averaging nearly 66 passes in the league this season, the central defender has a 57% tackle success, has recovered the ball 85 times, made 25 interceptions and 37 clearances, 17 of which were headed. Dunk has two assists this season and has a good long ball range.