Manchester United Vs Brighton Premier League Football Match 2023
Seeking to climb into the top half of the Premier League table, Manchester United play host to Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. While the Red Devils are languishing in 11th place at this early stage of the campaign, the Seagulls are sitting in the top six and just three points behind leaders Manchester City.
While Man United’s form on the pitch has left a little to be desired, off-field issues involving Antony, Jadon Sancho and the club’s drawn-out ownership saga have since followed during the international break, not helping Erik ten Hag’s cause, and Red Devils supporters are merely craving a day without drama at Old Trafford. Two home wins and two away defeats have been posted from their opening four Premier League games this term, with their latest setback suffered at the hands of rivals Arsenal, who put United to the sword 3-1 in dramatic circumstances two weeks ago.
The Red Devils appeared to be holding on for a point at the Emirates Stadium until Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus netted in the 96th and 101st minutes to claim all three points at the death, leaving Ten Hag with plenty to ponder heading into a busy fixture schedule. Before taking on German juggernauts Bayern Munich in their opening Champions League group-stage match next Wednesday, Man United must shift their focus to Saturday’s challenging Premier League contest with Brighton, who secured a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on the opening weekend of last season.
Not since the 1989-90 campaign under Sir Alex Ferguson have the Red Devils lost three of their opening five league games, but Ten Hag will be optimistic of grinding out a positive result on home soil this weekend as his side have not lost any of their last 32 matches at Old Trafford in all competitions. While Man United are down in the dumps, Brighton continue to go from strength to strength and have made a positive start to the new season, winning three of their opening four Premier League matches and scoring 12 goals in the process – more than any other top-flight team to date.
Bouncing back from a brief wobble against West Ham United, the Seagulls soared to a statement 3-1 victory at home against Newcastle United before the international break, with teenage sensation Evan Feguson netting his first Premier League hat-trick. While Brighton fans are sure to have one eye on their first-ever Europa League match against AEK Athens next Thursday, Roberto De Zerbi and co will be focused fully on their upcoming clash with Man United as they endeavour to win their fourth successive league game against the Red Devils.
The Seagulls travel to Old Trafford having won four and lost four of their last eight Premier League away fixtures, with two of those four victories notably coming against Chelsea and Arsenal. Brighton’s tricky run of fixtures arguably began against Newcastle who they comfortably dispatched last time out, but their mettle will certainly be tested in the coming weeks as their encounter with Man United will soon be followed by league games against Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Manchester City, with a EFL Cup clash at Chelsea and a Europa League trip to Marseille sandwiched in between.
Man United winger Antony will not represent the club ‘until further notice’ amid allegations of assault made against him, while Raphael Varane (muscle), Luke Shaw (muscle), Tyrell Malacia (muscle), Amad Diallo (knee), Kobbie Mainoo (ankle) and Tom Heaton (calf) are all ruled out through injury. New recruit Sofyan Amrabat is doubtful with a back problem, but United allegedly hope to have the Moroccan available to face Brighton, while both Lisandro Martinez and Mason Mount could also be in a position to return to the matchday squad should they make a full recovery from respective foot and hamstring injuries.
With Antony unavailable and Sancho also expected to miss out after being banned from training following his social media outburst towards Ten Hag, Bruno Fernandes, Facundo Pellistri and Alejandro Garnacho are all options who could start on the right flank, while Marcus Rashford – who scored against Arsenal last time out – is set to continue on his favoured left wing with either Rasmus Hojlund or Anthony Martial leading the line. Brighton, meanwhile, are sweating over the fitness of Ferguson who withdrew from the Republic of Ireland squad due to a knee injury, and the 18-year-old striker will be assessed ahead of kickoff along with former Man United man Danny Welbeck, who missed the win over Newcastle with an ‘minor issue’; Julio Enciso and Jakub Moder both remain out with knee injuries, though.
After watching the win against Newcastle from the stands, new signings Ansu Fati and Carlos Baleba are both in contention to make their Seagulls debuts at Old Trafford, with the former – on loan from Barcelona – most likely to play in the No.10 role in between star wingers Kaoru Mitoma and Solly March, and the latter set to battle with Billy Gilmour and Mahmoud Dahoud for a start in centre-midfield alongside newly-capped Germany international Pascal Gross. Joel Veltman will hope to fend off competition from James Milner for a start at right-back, and Adam Webster is looking to start in central defence ahead of Jan Paul van Hecke, while De Zerbi will ponder whether to stick with Bart Verbruggen in goal or recall Jason Steele between the sticks.