Brighton vs Man United
The American Express Community Stadium, East Sussex
Tuesday, 30-06-2020 @10:15pm
Ref: Andre Marriner
Off a strenuous FA Cup tie against Norwich City, Manchester United are set to travel to Amex on Tuesday as they take on Brighton & Hove Albion.
It will be an excellent chance for them to secure their third consecutive victories in all competitions, although they needed extra time to beat Norwich on the weekend. But more importantly, the Red Devils will have an opportunity to overtake Wolverhampton Wanderers this week.
They are currently sixth in the league table, trailing Wolves by three points. But, a superior goal difference means a win should be enough to not only assume the fifth position but also put pressure on fourth-placed Chelsea.
Brighton meanwhile, are coming into this game with good heart, having secured a shocking 2-1 win over Arsenal and a draw with high-flying Leicester City in their last two matches. They have also had a good week-long rest, which should potentially give them an advantage when it comes to overall fatigue.
At the same time, however, the Seagulls will be well aware of the fact that Manchester United would present a more difficult challenge than Arsenal. Additionally, Graham Potter’s men are pretty much still in the relegation scrap, meaning a defeat could be costly as it will allow West Ham, Bournemouth and Aston Villa to close the gap.
Brighton boss Graham Potter says it is “touch and go” whether Adam Webster will be fit due to the hamstring injury he suffered against Leicester. Tariq Lamptey could keep his place at right-back after his impressive debut against the Foxes.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to make numerous changes given the tight turnaround after their FA Cup win at Norwich. Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe are the only players currently unavailable.
Brighton’s only victories in their 22 fixtures against Manchester United in all competitions have come in each of the last three top-flight home meetings. Manchester United’s most recent victory at Brighton was in the First Division in 1982. All five Premier League meetings have been won by the home side, making it the division’s most-played fixture in which the hosts have a 100% record.
Brighton have 33 points after 31 matches, just three shy of their final tally last season. They are unbeaten in three matches, which have all been against sides in the top half of the table: Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester. The Seagulls have kept two clean sheets in those three games, as many as they had managed in their previous 20 league fixtures. They have benefitted from a top-flight high of four own goals in the Premier League this season. Only Neal Maupay, with nine, has scored more goals for the Seagulls this campaign. Brighton’s starting XI against Leicester was the youngest they have fielded in a Premier League match at an average age of 25 years and 182 days.
United are unbeaten in 14 games in all competitions (W10, D4), scoring 35 goals and conceding four. It’s their best form since a 17-match streak without defeat between Nov 2016 and Jan 2017. Manchester United’s tally of 49 points from 31 games is their lowest since the 1990-91 campaign. They require 17 points out of a possible 21 in their final seven league fixtures to equal their points total of last season. The Red Devils have kept seven clean sheets in their last 12 Premier League matches – as many as they managed in their first 40 under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They have won only four of their 15 league away fixtures this season. The fewest away matches won by the Red Devils in a Premier League campaign is five, set in 2010-11.
The upcoming match-day 31 Premier League games
-AFC Bournemouth vs Newcastle United @8pm
-Arsenal vs Norwich City @8pm
-Everton vs Leicester City @8pm
-West Ham United vs Chelsea @10:15pm
-Sheffield United vs Tottenham Hotspur @8pm
-Man City vs Liverpool @10:15pm