Down The Wings

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Match Preview: Manchester United vs Brighton

Manchester United vs Brighton | Premier League | Old Trafford | KO: 19:30 GMT | BT Sport

After an international break that seemed to span longer than ever before, the Premier League returns at the weekend, with Manchester United playing host to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday evening.

With both Leicester City and Chelsea having dropped points on Saturday, a win for The Reds will make them look certain to get their place in next seasons UEFA Champions League, barring an unparalleled collapse during the run in.

The international break provided rest for some United players, whilst others were able to find their form, meaning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side should enter the match in close to peak condition.

How do Manchester United Look?

Prior to the international fixtures, Marcus Rashford was struggling with an ankle issue, that eventually saw him withdraw from the England squad and miss their three World Cup Qualifying matches.

However, United boss Solskjaer is confident that he, along with forward Mason Greenwood, will be fit to play against The Seagulls on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the match, Solskjaer said “They both joined in this morning and hopefully they don’t get any reaction. If they complete the session tomorrow, they’ll be available for selection”.

Victor Lindelöf and Anthony Martial may not be able to make the match, having not trained since returning from their break, and will have late fitness tests to confirm this.

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Paul Pogba will likely start, after a strong showing for the French national team, whilst Bruno Fernandes will be fresh and recovered, having missed Portugal’s final match due to suspension.

Dean Henderson has started United’s last few matches in the absence of David de Gea, so it will be interesting to see who Solskjaer now considers to be his number one, and who will start against Brighton.

Opposition: Brighton

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Graham Potter’s side find themselves 16th in the Premier League, just six points outside of the relegation zone, but have impressed in their last two matches, winning them both, against Newcastle United and Southampton, respectively.

They will be expected to stay up now, with 17th placed Newcastle’s form being the poorest in the league.

Brighton will enter the match with no fresh injuries from the international break, meaning that former United man Danny Welbeck will be in contention to start against his old side.

Tariq Lamptey and Solly March remain out with season ending injuries.

Key Stats

Manchester United have lost just three times in 25 matches against Brighton, winning 17 of those matches, including the dramatic 3-2 victory at The AMEX earlier in the season, that saw United score a winning penalty after the final whistle went.

United have never lost at home to The Seagulls.

Prediction

Manchester United 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion.

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