Preview: There should be excitement but the feeling is not positive ahead of Brighton opener

United have promised so much with so little being delivered for the manager this summer

Manchester United -v- Brighton and Hove Albion

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 7 August 2022, KO 14:00 BST

Manchester United will go head to head with Brighton and Hove Albion in the opening Premier League match at Old Trafford on Sunday. 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 seeking to make his debut this weekend.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists

Rayo Vallecano 1-1 D, Atlético Madrid 1-0 L, Aston Villa 2-2 D, Crystal Palace 3-1 W, Melbourne Victory 4-1 W, Liverpool 4-0 W

Goals: 3 – Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, 2 – Own Goal, Marcus Rashford, 1 – Amad Diallo, Fred, Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri

Assists: 1 – Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot, Amad Diallo, Anthony Elanga, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Donny van de Beek

Brighton and Hove Albion – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists

Espanyol 5-1 W, Brentford 1-0 L, Reading 2-1 W, Estoril Praia 4-1 W, Union Saint-Gilloise 0-0 D

Goals: 3 – Leandro Trossard, 2 – Neal Maupay, 1 – Lewis Dunk, Pascal Groß, Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma, Deniz Undav, Adam Webster

Assists: N/A

Previous Meetings & Connections: Brighton and Hove Albion

United and Brighton have met ten times in the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing no matches with Brighton winning the other three. United have scored 18 goals, wing three penalties, scoring both. Brighton have scored 13 goals, winning two penalties, scoring both.

United have kept three cleans sheets against Brighton with the Sussex club keeping two. United players have been shown 14 yellow cards and no red cards wit Brighton players shown 17 yellow cards and one red card. That is an average of 3.2 cards per match in the Premier League.

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.

Team News

Anthony Martial is the only injured player, missing this match with a thigh injury. Jadon Sancho missed the final two pre-season matches with an illness, Facundo Pellistri sprained his ankle last weekend and Luke Shaw has been out with a fever but should be fit.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been training this week, despite wanting to leave United this summer and with Martial’s injury, could lead the line for United at the Theatre of Dreams. Alejandro Garnacho should be given a chance to get himself more minutes this season, considering his ability.

Jakub Moder has been ruled out of this match with a knee injury. He is Brighton’s only injury doubt. Alexis Mac Allister has been out with a groin injury of late but he seems to be back to his best and raring to go this season. Brighton have no more problems as far as I know.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Dalot, Maguire, Martinez, Malacia;

Fred, Eriksen;

Sancho, Fernandes, Garnacho;


Predicted Brighton and Hove Albion Starting XI – 4-2-3-1


Veltman, Dunk, Colwill, March;

Mac Allister, Caicedo;

Gross, Trossard, Mwepu;


Match Prediction

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.

Manchester United 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.