Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United: Can the Seagulls stun the Red Devils?

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Brighton are set to host sixth-placed Manchester United on Tuesday evening in their second game at the Amex Stadium following Project Restart.

The Seagulls’ first home match saw them come from behind to beat Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. A sweet Nicolas Pepe strike gave the away team the lead, before a scrappy Lewis Dunk goal left the game in the balance with 15 minutes to go. 

The balance was broken in the 95th minute as Neal Maupay netted the winner, sparking unsavoury scenes between Gunners players and the Frenchman, who they thought had purposefully injured Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno in the first-half.

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A 0-0 draw followed against Leicester City, a result which seriously boosted Graham Potter’s side’s survival chances, with six points and three places separating Brighton and fellow south coast team Bournemouth, who currently sit in 18th position. 

Their visitors, Manchester United, have likewise impressed following the return of football. A meeting against former manager Jose Mourinho saw the Red Devils leave north London with a point, despite the lion’s share of chances falling to the visitors, after a penalty from Bruno Fernandes cancelled out Steven Bergwijn’s first-half goal. 

The following game saw a much more convincing performance in front of goal as Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men dispatched of Sheffield United in a 3-0 win, with Anthony Martial scoring all three; the first time a Man Utd player had scored a league hat-trick since Robin van Persie back in 2013.

Most recently, United were taken to extra time in their FA Cup quarter-final against Norwich City. Club captain Harry Maguire scored his second goal in the competition, which ended up being the winner, as Solskjær’s side claimed a 2-1 away victory. They will face Chelsea at Wembley in three weeks for a place in the final.

The reverse fixture earlier in the season saw United score two early goals within the first 20 minutes, which seemed to indicate a routine win for the home side was on its way. A header from Brighton captain Lewis Dunk risked some discomfort for the Old Trafford faithful but a third from Marcus Rashford sealed the Red Devils’ fourth Premier League victory of the season. 

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That was Rashford’s sixth goal of the season in the league at the time. He has since added another eight taking his tally to 14, making him the club’s joint top scorer alongside Frenchman Martial. 

Discussing Rashford in a recent press conference, Solskjær said: “Of course Marcus has been out for a while, but I think he’s looked sharp. I think he came on and looked sharp again against Norwich. 

“(At) Sheffield United he did miss, yeah, one or two chances, but the goals he created, I think that is what we are focusing on and I think Marcus is on his way to his best season ever at Man United. 

“So, for me, I’m just looking forward to him getting more and more minutes. He will definitely score a goal soon.”

In the opposite dugout, Graham Potter spoke about how his team are taking each game as it comes.

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The Brighton boss said: “We don’t think about how many points we may or may not need at this stage to be safe.

“We’re playing one of the most in-form teams in the league, we’ll just keep trying to pick up points between now and the end of the season.

“There’s been a good belief and spirit throughout the season. That’s not easy when you’re not winning. It says a lot about the group, and the environment we have here.”

Team news

United are relatively blessed with a lack of injuries. Only Phil Jones and fellow English defender Axel Tuanzebe are set to miss the trip to East Sussex on Tuesday night. However, Solskjær may consider resting key players such as Fernandes and Paul Pogba, with the former having played all but ten minutes across their last three matches.

Brighton, on the other hand, are yet to make a decision on centre-back Adam Webster who has a hamstring problem, while Tariq Lamptey is available after receiving stitches in the previous game against Leicester. Steven Alzate and Jose Izqueirdo will remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries.

Where to watch 

The game is set to kick-off at 8.15pm on Tuesday June 29 and is available to watch on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League.

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