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Match Preview: Brighton Hove Albion vs Manchester United

Brighton vs Manchester United

Following their 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, and their 3-0 victory over Luton Town, Manchester United travel to the south coast to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the lunchtime fixture this Saturday, in the Premier League. 

United will enter the match with caution. The AMEX hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for them in recent years, The Reds having lost two of their previous three visits there, and the pressure will be amplified for Solskjaer’s side, given the disappointing start to their league campaign. 

How do Manchester United look?

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Tuesday’s victory over Luton saw the return of defender Eric Bailly to the starting eleven. The Ivorian impressed; with many fans demanding he replaces Victor Lindelöf to play alongside Harry Maguire this weekend. 

Speaking on the pairing, Solskjaer said “our defensive record from last season shows with Eric [Bailly] and Harry [Maguire] how good a partnership they were. It’s the whole team, defending as a team. Eric is fit again, which is a big bonus for us and I’m looking forward to seeing him develop and play more games”, suggesting that the pair may start together on Saturday afternoon.

When asked if a midfield of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek would be successful, the boss remained coy, saying ““Well, I think good players can play well together. But also, Scott [McTominay], Nemanja [Matic] and Fred are also good players, so there’s competition for those places”.

There are, as always, rumours of incomings at Old Trafford, yet with less than two weeks remaining in the transfer window, the only new signing United have made is Donny Van de Beek, and should they perform to a similar level to last weekend, there will be huge questions asked about this squad, and the need for reinforcements will once again be reiterated.

Opposition: Brighton

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Brighton, who finished fifteenth last season, have opened this campaign in a fair manner. Their opening fixture saw them put up a tough battle in a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea, whilst in their second game, The Seagulls came away with all three points, beating Newcastle 3-0 away from home.

Centre forward Neal Maupay was the side’s top scorer last season, but with just ten league goals, that isn’t much to write home about.

It was Brighton’s impressive defensive record that played the biggest role in their Premier League survival during the last campaign. They conceded the same amount of goals as fourth placed Chelsea (54), with strong centre half Lewis Dunk playing a vital role in keeping his side in the division.

The return of Ben White from his loan spell with Leeds United, as well as the acquisition of Joel Veltman from Ajax will only solidify an already impressive defence for Brighton.

If United are to secure their first Premier League victory of the season, they must find a way to break down the strong wall that The Seagulls are likely to put up on Saturday afternoon.

Key Stat

Manchester United have lost two of their last three visits to Brighton, with the only victory in that time coming last season, in the 3-0 win that saw goals from Mason Greenwood and a brace from Bruno Fernandes.


Brighton 1-2 Manchester United. Goals from Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial.

Match Preview Writer

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