Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Team news, preview and predictions

Anthony Martial Manchester United 2019-20
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Can the Red Devils bounce back from last weekend’s defeat by Bournemouth when they host the Seagulls?

Manchester United find themselves under increasing pressure ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford, following a miserable run of form from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

The Norwegian coach enters the weekend down in 10th place, a whopping 18 points off league leaders Liverpool, and 10 behind Chelsea, who currently occupy the final Champions League qualifying berth.

United have won just once in the league since mid-September, when they defeated Leicester City 1-0 at home, with a sole victory away at Norwich City their only triumph since.

In cup competitions, United have beaten Partizan Belgrade twice and Chelsea once, but in the league, they’ve been beaten by the likes of Newcastle United and West Ham United recently, even before last weekend’s shock loss at Bournemouth.

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Brighton, by contrast, have improved dramatically after a slow start under Graham Potter, and have now won three of their last four matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 2019-20

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Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion Team News & Stats

Hardly helping Solskjaer’s cause is the significant number of injuries and absentees he’s facing, with a whopping 10 players either doubtful or absent ahead of this weekend’s showdown.

Ashley Young definitely misses out due to suspension, while Scott McTominay and Victor Lindelof are doubtful, the latter with a back problem. If the Sweden defender doesn’t return to the fold, Marcos Rojo will likely continue to deputise in the defence.

In terms of further absentees, Eric Bailly, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Diego Dalot, Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw and Axel Tuenzebe are all expected to miss out. Paul Pogba isn’t expected back until after the international break.

It remains to be seen if Andreas Pereira will be trusted after an underwhelming showing against Bournemouth last weekend.

For Brighton, Jose Izquierdo and Bernardo are all absent, while Adam Webster is a doubt after picking up an ankle injury against Norwich City last weekend. 

Scott McTominay Manchester United 2019-20

Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion Key Facts & Stats

Encouragingly for United, as they look to turn things around, they’ve never been defeated by Brighton in their 11 previous home matches against the Seagulls, winning all but two of those bouts.

The last time Brighton took any points away from United was in March 1983, when they drew 1-1 at Old Trafford. Could they end the wait for a draw (or better) this weekend's match, which you can stream live on Showmax.

Worryingly for United, since mid-April, they’ve taken just 15 points in the top flight, having won just three matches during that period. 

In that same time frame, only three of the ever-presents in the division during that period have amassed fewer points, and Sheffield United…who were only promoted this season…have already taken 16.

There’s a definite vulnerability about the Red Devils at the moment, but can Potter and his troops exploit their limitations?

Graham Potter, Brighton

Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion Predictions

Despite Brighton’s upturn in fortunes in recent weeks, it’s worth noting that the majority of their points have come at home.

All of their three victories since the 3-0 triumph at Watford in August have come at the Amex Stadium, while they were defeated at Aston Villa and Chelsea since late September.

Certainly, there are no guarantees that United, who have struggled to put teams away, will come away with all three points, particularly considering their plethora of absentees.

However, United haven’t been defeated at home since a late August shock loss against Crystal Palace, and they should boost their continental prospects with three points here.