Preview: Manchester United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

Preview: Manchester United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

Seeking to climb into the top half of the Premier League table, Manchester United play host to Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

While the Red Devils are languishing in 11th place at this early stage of the campaign, the Seagulls are sitting in the top six and just three points behind leaders Manchester City.

While Man United’s form on the pitch has left a little to be desired, off-field issues involving Antony, Jadon Sancho and the club’s drawn-out ownership saga have since followed during the international break, not helping Erik ten Hag’s cause, and Red Devils supporters are merely craving a day without drama at Old Trafford.

Two home wins and two away defeats have been posted from their opening four Premier League games this term, with their latest setback suffered at the hands of rivals Arsenal, who put United to the sword 3-1 in dramatic circumstances two weeks ago.

The Red Devils appeared to be holding on for a point at the Emirates Stadium until Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus netted in the 96th and 101st minutes to claim all three points at the death, leaving Ten Hag with plenty to ponder heading into a busy fixture schedule.

Before taking on German juggernauts Bayern Munich in their opening Champions League group-stage match next Wednesday, Man United must shift their focus to Saturday’s challenging Premier League contest with Brighton, who secured a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on the opening weekend of last season.

Not since the 1989-90 campaign under Sir Alex Ferguson have the Red Devils lost three of their opening five league games, but Ten Hag will be optimistic of grinding out a positive result on home soil this weekend as his side have not lost any of their last 32 matches at Old Trafford in all competitions.

While Man United are down in the dumps, Brighton continue to go from strength to strength and have made a positive start to the new season, winning three of their opening four Premier League matches and scoring 12 goals in the process – more than any other top-flight team to date.

Bouncing back from a brief wobble against West Ham United, the Seagulls soared to a statement 3-1 victory at home against Newcastle United before the international break, with teenage sensation Evan Feguson netting his first Premier League hat-trick.

While Brighton fans are sure to have one eye on their first-ever Europa League match against AEK Athens next Thursday, Roberto De Zerbi and co will be focused fully on their upcoming clash with Man United as they endeavour to win their fourth successive league game against the Red Devils.

The Seagulls travel to Old Trafford having won four and lost four of their last eight Premier League away fixtures, with two of those four victories notably coming against Chelsea and Arsenal.

Brighton’s tricky run of fixtures arguably began against Newcastle who they comfortably dispatched last time out, but their mettle will certainly be tested in the coming weeks as their encounter with Man United will soon be followed by league games against Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Manchester City, with a EFL Cup clash at Chelsea and a Europa League trip to Marseille sandwiched in between.

Manchester United Premier League form:

Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form:

We say: Manchester United 2-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
A closely-fought contest between an under-pressure Man United side and buoyant Brighton outfit is set to take place this weekend, and it is difficult to predict a favourite for this fascinating match-up.

Brighton have scored in each of their last 15 Premier League away games and will be confident of breaching Man United’s backline, but we believe that the hosts will find a way to claim a share of the spoils.

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