Manchester United have won six games out of six under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and with Brighton & Hove Albion arriving at Old Trafford this weekend the Norwegian will be keen for his side to continue their excellent run of form.
United were abject in their 3-2 loss at the Amex Stadium to Chris Hughton's side on the second weekend of the season and there will be an eagerness for revenge, while the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford will hope to extend their great spells of form.
Besides getting United working as an attacking force in a way his predecessor Jose Mourinho couldn't, Solskjaer has also fixed up their defensive returns of late. They have recorded three straight clean sheets and have still to concede a goal from open play under the former striker.
Man Utd Injuries
Alexis Sanchez has been United's biggest cause for concern of late, with his brief return from a hamstring injury against Newcastle United and Reading being brought to a halt when he limped out of the FA Cup win over the Royals and subsequently missed the victory against Tottenham at Wembley last time out.
He was due back in training this week though, and as long as Solskjaer is happy with his fitness in training on Friday he could well be available for selection on Saturday afternoon.
Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba were both absent from training on Wednesday but returned to join their team-mates on Thursday and should be fine to play, while Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo remain out although they are both back in training.
However, Marouane Fellaini continues to be unavailable, as explained by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday morning: “Chris and Marcos just started running lightly, Alexis has been training all week while Felli is the long-term one who will be out at least three or four weeks. He’s got a calf problem and that’s sad because there’s an X-factor in different players and we all know Felli’s X-factor.”
Man Utd Suspensions
The Red Devils welcome Eric Bailly back into contention following his three-match ban after a straight red card against Bournemouth. Elsewhere the raising of the yellow-card suspension mark to 10 means both United and Brighton are running no risk of losing further players to suspension for the time being.
Possible Man Utd Starting Line-Up
Following the success over Spurs last week there is unlikely to be too much Solskjaer decides to tinker with going into Saturday's fixture, meaning that Romelu Lukaku may again have to make do with a place on the bench with match-winner Marcus Rashford starting ahead of him once more.
There ought to be a slight positional switch, with Jesse Lingard returning to the right and Rashford being the main front man having found themselves alternating the roles at Wembley, while Anthony Martial has done enough to suggest he will start again regardless of whether Alexis Sanchez is passed fit or not.
Solskjaer has extra options at the back this week, with Diogo Dalot a potential alternative in either full-back role and Eric Bailly back from suspension to add depth to the central defensive positions, but the manager looks set to go with his settled back four.
Brighton Team News
Chris Hughton could be missing a whole host of players for the trip to Old Trafford on Saturday, with Bernardo still missing with a hamstring problem and Jose Izquierdo set to be unavailable due to a knee injury. Yves Bissouma was an absentee in the loss to Liverpool and could be out for the United game too, adding an extra headache for Hughton in the absences of Mat Ryan and Alireza Jahanbakhsh due to their participation in the Asian Cup with Australia and Iran respectively.
Meanwhile, Ezequiel Schelotto and Markus Suttner are unlikely to feature after Hughton admitted the pair could be subject to loan moves during the January window.
TV Coverage & Kick-Off Time
The game kicks off at 3:00pm GMT (10:00am ET), and so will not be shown live in the UK due to blackout restrictions. The match will be available in the US through NBC Sports Network.
Best Opta Match Facts
- Manchester United have never lost a home match against Brighton in all competition (W8 D2), winning the last four in a row without conceding.
- Brighton have won their last two games against Man Utd (both in the Premier League), having one just one of their previous 18 against them in all competitions (D5 L12).
- Manchester United are looking to score at least three goals in four consecutive home league games for the first time since September 2011.
- Brighton have lost all eight of their Premier League away games against the ‘big six’ sides, with their only goal in those games coming at Manchester City in May 2018.
- Manchester United are looking to secure six consecutive Premier League victories for the first time since January 2017.
- Man Utd have kept back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League, having kept just two in their first 20 league games of 2018-19.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to become the first ever manager to win their first six league games in charge of Manchester United.
- Man Utd’s Paul Pogba has scored twice in his last two Premier League games at Old Trafford – Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to score at least twice in three consecutive home games for the club in the competition, doing so in November 2008.
- Marcus Rashford could make his 150th appearance for Manchester United in all competitions in this match. He’s scored more goals than any other player for the club since his debut (40).