Preview: Manchester United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

Preview: Manchester United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

Manchester United will be bidding to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

The Red Devils, who remain fifth in the table, one point off the top four, will enter the contest off the back of a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday, while ninth-placed Brighton recorded a 2-0 victory over struggling Watford on the same afternoon.

Man United’s frustrations continued on Saturday, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton, taking the lead in the first half of the match through Jadon Sancho, before Che Adams found the back of the net for the Saints in the early stages of the second period.

It was the second league match in a row where the Red Devils had taken the lead before conceding early in the second half, and it was another 1-1 draw for Ralf Rangnick’s side, who sit fifth in the table, one point behind fourth-placed West Ham, who drew with Leicester City on Sunday.

Arsenal are only a point behind Man United with two games in hand, though, so the 20-time English champions desperately need to start putting victories on the board if they are to secure a top-four finish, even with West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur both dropping points over the weekend.

The Red Devils have only lost one league match since Rangnick’s appointment as interim manager, but they have won just two of their last six in England’s top flight, while Cristiano Ronaldo has not registered for the club since the 3-1 victory over Burnley at the end of December.

Man United are entering a huge period of the season, as they will take on bitter rivals Leeds United in the league next weekend before travelling to Atletico Madrid for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League game on February 23, while there is also the small matter of a Manchester derby at the start of March.

Brighton, as mentioned, were two-goal winners at Watford on Saturday afternoon courtesy of efforts from Neal Maupay and Adam Webster, with the result moving the Seagulls into ninth spot in the table.

Graham Potter’s side have won seven, drawn 12 and lost four of their 23 league games this term, with only the top three – Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea – losing fewer matches in England’s top flight during the 2021-22 campaign, which is an indication of how impressive they have been.

Brighton are actually only three points behind eighth-placed Tottenham and sit six ahead of 11th-placed Aston Villa, so they are certainly in a strong position to secure a top-half finish, which would be a remarkable achievement for a team that has finished 15th, 17th, 15th and 16th since being promoted to the Premier League by finishing second in the 2016-17 Championship.

The Seagulls have lost just once on their travels in the Premier League this term, which is the joint-best record with Man City, while they are unbeaten in their last seven in England’s top flight, last losing at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the middle of December.

Brighton have lost each of their last six matches against Man United in all competitions, though, including a 2-1 defeat when they travelled to Old Trafford for the corresponding game last term.

Manchester United Premier League form:
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Manchester United form (all competitions):
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Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form:
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Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions):
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We say: Manchester United 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
It is difficult to back Man United to keep a clean sheet at the moment, and we are expecting Brighton to score on Tuesday night. That said, the Red Devils are in desperate need of a victory, and we believe that the home side will somehow navigate their way to a hugely important three points against Potter’s team, moving into fourth spot in the table in the process.

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