Match Previews

Match Preview: Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion

The Mirror

With another three points gained, United continue their voyage towards the top four as Brighton fly up from the coast.

Interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær got the better of Mauricio Pochettino last time out and is now the favourite for the permanent job, but a more seasoned Premier League boss in Chris Houghton will provide a stern test.

Old Trafford once again is expecting an entertaining affair, this time between two teams that have played out shock results in their last two meetings.

Kick-off: 15:00 [GMT]

Venue: Old Trafford

Referee: Paul Tierney

Reverse fixture: Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 Manchester United (Murray, Duffy, Groß) (Lukaku, Pogba)

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The Seagulls

Position: 13th

Recent form: LWDWD

Top scorer: Glenn Murray [8]

Most assists: Solly March [5]

One to watch: Pascal Groß

Previous result: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Liverpool

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Bernardo – hamstring (a few days)
  • Yves Bissouma – knock (late fitness test)
  • José Izquierdo – knee (day to day)
  • Alireza Jahanbakhsh – international duty (unknown)
  • Mathew Ryan – international duty (unknown)

Expected lineup

(4-4-1-1) Button; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockheart, Stephens, Pröpper, March; Groß; Murray.

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Quote from the boss

“At the moment Manchester United are in really good form. The results speak for themselves and they’ve won games by scoring plenty of goals and playing well.” – Chris Houghton

Next match: West Bromwich Albion [H] – 26/1/19

The Red Devils

Talking points

Courtesy of a Marcus Rashford goal and yet another David De Gea masterclass in goal, Solskjær claimed a sixth consecutive victory United boss as Tottenham Hotspur were the latest victims of this red resurrection.

Nemanja Matić and Paul Pogba had their partners given birth this week, meaning they were absent from training in the early parts of the week.

However, a familiar face in training was academy graduate Giuseppe Rossi; as the American-born Italian striker regains his fitness as he reaches the twilight of his injury-stifled career.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been in and around Carrington lately, which may have been a key factor in the team’s resurrection with Ole at the wheel.

Speculation surrounding Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo (both on a permanent basis) along with Scott McTominay (loan) leaving the club has been rife this week, but one confirmed move has been Joel Pereira returning from his loan with Vitória Setúbal early.

Two potential returns to the starting XI are the previously suspended Eric Bailly and Alexis Sánchez, but they may have to wait their turn in the FA Cup next Friday night.

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Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Marouane Fellaini – calf (three weeks)
  • Marcos Rojo – knock (unknown)
  • Chris Smalling – foot (day to day)

Expected lineup

(4-2-3-1) De Gea; Young, Lindelöf, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matić; Lingard, Pogba; Martial; Rashford.

Quote from the boss

We’ve had six good games but the next one is always the important one. Everyone said about Tottenham being the test — I don’t think that is the test in the respect of attitude, because you know the players are going to be up for that.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Next match: Arsenal [A] – 25/1/19

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Potential key battles

Marcus Rashford vs Lewis Dunk

– Paul Pogba vs Dale Stephens

Victor Lindelöf vs Glenn Murray

Match facts [FotMob]

  • United have never lost a home match against Brighton in all competition (W8 D2) – winning the last four in a row without conceding
  • Brighton have won their last two games against Man Utd (both in the Premier League) – having won just one of their previous 18 against them in all competitions (D5 L12)
  • The Red Devils are looking to score at least three goals in four consecutive home league games for the first time since September 2011
  • The Seagulls have lost all eight of their Premier League away games against the ‘big six’ sides, with their only goal in those games coming at Manchester City in May 2018
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjær has broken Sir Matt Busby’s record held since 1947, by winning six out of first six games as manager of the club
  • Paul Pogba has scored four goals and assisted four in his five outings since the change of boss
  • A minutes applause will be held in remembrance of legend Sir Matt Busby prior to kick-off

Enjoy the match!

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