Manchester United are getting ready to return to Premier League action. After a two-week break due to international duties, the Red Devils will be on the pitch on Sunday, as Brighton and Hove Albion are visiting Old Trafford. It will be a tricky match, not only due to the opponents, but also because it is the first match after the break and here is everything you should know ahead of that game.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have some problems regarding this team, especially when looking at the attacking side of the pitch. The reason is that Marcus Rashford is a doubt due to his ankle problems, but also because Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial are both expected to miss the game altogheter.
Greenwood’s knock did not allow him to feature for England at the U21 Euros, while Martial injured his knee on international duty with France. Apart from them, Phil Jones is still injured. Edinson Cavani, on the other side, should be back in the starting lineup.
Looking at Brighton, they will also have their issues and worries. Florin Andone, Tariq Lamptey, Jesse March and Adam Webster will all miss this game. Webster and Andone are expected to return to action some time this month, while March and Lamptey have basically ended their seasons. Interestingly, we could see Danny Welbeck start in attack against his former club at Old Trafford, as Graham Potter’s options are somewhat limited.
Man United were on a decent run before the international break occurred and then they ended it with a 3-1 loss in Leicester, in the FA Cup quarterfinal. That was a poor performance at the time when United could have paved their way to the big final. Before that, there were 1-0 wins against West Ham and AC Milan and hopefully the team will now find a way to win without conceding against Brighton as well.
As far as Brighton are concerned, they are in a decent position right now. Sitting in 16th place with 32 points, they have a six-point gap ahead of the 18th-placed Fulham and their form has been on the rise in recent weeks. After a spell of two points won in five games, Brighton have managed to beat Southampton 2-1 and then Newcastle United 3-0, put them in a much better position.
Before that, Graham Potter’s side had lost to Crystal Palace, West Brom and Leicester, and also drew against Burnley and Aston Villa. Such results against these opponents were definitely not good enough, especially when factored in that before those matches, in late January and early February they managed to beat both Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool – without even conceding.
Therefore, Man United fans should really expect a tricky opponent which knows how to play against the so called Big Six sides.
The expectations are for Manchester United to beat Brighton. It may not be a pretty win, considering United will be missing some important players and also the fact that Brighton are a tricky side which usually wants to play progressive football. Nevertheless, United should have enough about them to see this one out, before getting their attention back to Europa League and next Thursday’s game against Granada.