Preview: United’s big guns to push for victory over Brighton earning their first three points of the season?

Brighton and Hove Albion -v- Manchester United

Premier League

American Express Community Stadium, Brighton

Saturday 26 September 2020, KO 12:30 BST

Referee: Chris Kavanagh Assistants: Sian Massey-Ellis, Constantine Hatzidakis 

Fourth Official: Graham Scott

VAR: Simon Hooper Assistant VAR: Neil Davies

Manchester United travel to Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon at the American Express Community Stadium, of which they will visit again next week in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are seeking their first Premier League victory of the season, after losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace last weekend and missing their first match against Burnley, which was postponed from a fortnight ago due to participating in the UEFA Europa League last month.

Graham Potter’s Brighton will be seeking to find their second Premier League victory of the season after falling to a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea on the opening weekend but beating Newcastle United 3-0 last weekend. Winning in both Carabao Cup matches against Portsmouth and Preston North End see the club set up a fourth round tie against United next week, which will be played in Brighton. United will be seeking to win both matches, to keep their season on track after their opening day dilemma.

Solskjaer is still seeking to bring in some fresh legs this summer, and get rid of some fringe players who have long since passes their time at the club but the frustrating ownership of the club added to the lack of any footballing knowledge by Ed Woodward and the sheer incompetence from Matt Judge, United look set to see this become their worst summer transfer window post-Sir Alex Ferguson. Solskjaer has a plan but needs to hierarchy of the club to back him in order to bring in players who have the quality the club needs to actually move forward for the first time in seven years.

Manchester United: WLLLWW

Luton Town 3-0 W, Crystal Palace 3-1 L, Aston Villa 1-0 L (F), Sevilla 2-1 L, FC Copenhagen 1-0 W, Linzer ASK 2-1 W

Brighton and Hove Albion: WWWLDD

Preston North End 2-0 W, Newcastle United 3-0 W, Portsmouth 4-0 W, Chelsea 3-1 L, West Bromwich Albion 0-0 D (F), Chelsea 1-1 D (F)

Top Scorers: Rashford and Greenwood off the mark with Anthony Martial playing catch up after defeat to Palace last weekend; Jahanbakhsh, Maupay and Mac Allister on two goals each for Brighton.

Manchester United Goals: 1 – Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood

United started the Premier League season with a 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford last week, which was a poor match for United and a team that looked well out of it in terms of match fitness. Against Luton Town, it did not look much better with Solskjaer making a number of changes from the team which were beaten by Palace. A penalty late in the first half gave United an advantage that they could not build upon until substitutions were made. When Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes were brought on, United were minutes away from scoring their second and third goals with all three players instrumental in scoring them.

Brighton and Hove Albion Goals: 2 – Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Neal Maupay, Alexis Mac Allister, 1 – Bernardo, Viktor Gyökeres, Leandro Trossard, Aaron Connolly

Brighton have started the season well with Carabao Cup victories over Portsmouth (4-0) and Preston North End (2-0), also beating Newcastle United 3-0 in the Premier League. The opening fixture saw the South Coast club beaten 3-1 by Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, which was an unfortunate result. United’s poor Premier League start will see Brighton have more confidence against them but United could be nearing some kind of fitness based on the fact they had a month off after the UEFA Europa League before the new season started, only playing one pre-season friendly when Brighton played two fixtures before the season started.

Team News: Tuanzebe, Jones and Romero out of action for United with Brighton having between four and six players out of action for this Premier League fixture.

United will still have Axel Tuanzebe (ankle/foot), Phil Jones (knee) and Sergio Romero (not available for selection) – possible due to an impending transfer for the Argentinian who is linked to Valencia this summer. David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Daniel James and Anthony Martial were all rested for the 3-0 victory over Luton Town in the Carabao Cup with Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes all coming off the bench for the remaining ten minutes of the match. Solskjaer side will be stronger with added match fitness.

Brighton have four players definitely out of action with Jose Izquierdo (knee), Florin Andone (knee), and Christian Walton (ankle/foot) all injured with Yves Bissouma suspended due to a red card, meaning that he will miss this match against United and the one next week in the Carabao Cup, returning against Everton. Tariq Lamptey (groin/hip) has a 75% chance of featuring against United with Aaron Connolly (muscular tightness) seemingly recovering from his injury ahead of Saturday’s match, but he might still be a doubt for Potter’s side.

Predicted Starting XI: De Gea, Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford, Greenwood and Martial to return against Brighton on Saturday afternoon?

I expect David De Gea to return to the starting XI for the Premier League clash with Brighton but Dean Henderson to return against the South Coast club in the Carabao Cup fixture next week. Eric Bailly should start alongside Harry Maguire in the centre of defence but Victor Lindelof will probably return and Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka should both play in the fullback positions. Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic should be paired in midfield with Bruno Fernandes playing in the advanced position with Marcus Rashford to the left, Mason Greenwood to the right and Anthony Martial playing ahead of him.

Match Prediction: In six Premier League matches, United have won four, losing twice. This season, Brighton have started off much better than United, who are two competitive matches into the season.

United and Brighton have met six times in the Premier League. United have won four times, losing twice. In terms of goals scored, United have scored 11 with Brighton scoring six with United winning and scoring two penalties and Brighton winning and scoring one. United have been shown just five yellow cards with Brighton shown 10. Neither a United nor a Brighton player have been sent off when both teams have faced each other in the Premier League. United and Brighton will face each other again next week.

In this fixture last season, which was played on the 30 June, United beat Brighton 3-0 with Mason Greenwood scoring the opening goal and Bruno Fernandes scoring a brace with goals in the 29th and 50th minute of the match. In the fixture at Old Trafford, United won 3-1 with Andreas Pereira opening the scoring in the 17th minute, Scott McTominay doubling the lead two minutes later and Marcus Rashford scoring two minutes after Lewis Dunk scored a consolation goal in the 64th minute.

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-3 Manchester United

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.