Match Previews

Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United – 19/8/18

In the second weekend of Premier League action this campaign, United travel to Brighton – somewhere they were beaten in a surprising result just over three months ago.

The job of Christ Hughton is again to keep his side up this season but José Mourinho knows he must deliver a sustained title challenge with as little drama off the pitch as possible, or things will get difficult.

A trip to the Seaside at this time of year always has potential.

Venue: The American Express Community Stadium

Kick-off: 16:00 [BST]

Referee: Kevin Friend

The Seagulls

Position: 16th

Opening game result: Watford 2-0 Brighton

One to watch: Pascal Groß

Injuries/suspensions (expected return)

  • Florin Andone; groin (day to day)
  • José Izquierdo; knee (unknown)
  • Bruno Saltor; hamstring (one week)
  • Jason Steele; thigh (day to day)

Team breakdown

Playing in a rigid 4-4-1-1 formation, Pascal Groß is the creative focal point behind Glenn Murray, who bagged 12 goals last season in his return to the top-flight.

New record signing and tongue-twister Alireza Jahanbakhsh will be eager to impress out wide following his cameo at Watford last weekend along with Anthony Knockout on the other flank.

What the manager said:

“Mourinho is one of our best managers, if you look at the record he has of winning things. I think when you are that type of manager you are going to be in the spotlight far more than others and everything is going to be picked up”

Last three meetings with United: WLL

The Red Devils

Talking points

In spite of the opening day victory at Old Trafford, comments from Paul Pogba last Saturday about not being happy at the club caused controversy but Mourinho insists he has “never been so happy with him” in two years.

Luke Shaw scored his first goal of his senior career to seal the win for United against Leicester but needs to maintain that high level of performance to finally nail down a starting place in the team.

Injuries/suspensions (expected return)

  • Diogo Dalot; meniscus (three weeks)
  • Ander Herrera; hamstring (one week)
  • Nemanja Matić; abdomen (back in training)
  • Marcos Rojo; knock (day to day)
  • Sergio Romero; knee (day to day)
  • Antonio Valencia; calf (back in training)

Team news

Ashley Young is set to return and could replace Matteo Darmian (who Mourinho expects to stay at the club this summer) at right back.

Phil Jones is fit to play but unlikely to replace Eric Bailly or Victor Lindelöf at centre back.

The exciting midfield trio of Andreas Pereira, Fred and Paul Pogba should continue as Marouane Fellaini should remain on the bench.

Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku may come into the side for Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford.

What the manager said:

“”I want him (Pogba) to play well, to play for the team, fans. He’s very polite, he’s very educated, he never had a fight with me. We never had a warm or hard change of words. Everything is respected, I have no problems at all.”

Possible key battles:

– Murray vs Bailly

– Groß vs A. Pereira

– Dunk vs Lukaku

Match facts

  • Brighton have won their last two home league games against Manchester United; with these games being spaced almost 36 years apart (1-0 in November 1982 and 1-0 in May 2018)
  • United’s last away win against Brighton came in April 1982 (D1 L2 since) – winning 1-0 thanks to a Ray Wilkins strike
  • The Seagulls were unbeaten in their four home Premier League games played on a Sunday last season (W2 D2)
  • The Red Devils failed to score in their last two away league games of 2017-18, including a 0-1 loss at Brighton –  they last went three without a goal on the road in the league in April 2005
  • Groß has had a hand in six goals in his last seven Premier League games at the Amex Stadium (3 goals, 3 assists)
  • Lukaku has scored against 17 of the current 20 Premier League sides – Brighton are one of the three he’s yet to score against (along with Cardiff and Wolves)
  • Murray has played more Premier League minutes against Manchester United than he has vs any other team (344)
  • Pogba has been involved in 26 league goals under Mourinho – the most of any player (12 goals, 14 assists)

UK television channel: Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League

Enjoy the match!

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