Man United VS Brighton – LIVE Reddit Soccer 07/05/2022
Brighton & Hove Albion have done well to end their near-two-month long slump, which saw them lose six games on the bounce and play out a 0-0 draw with Norwich City. The Seagulls have lost only one of their last six games, with the solitary defeat coming in a hard-fought battle against Manchester City. The positive run of results has helped Graham Potter’s men move up to ninth on the table. On the other hand, Manchester United’s forgettable season will soon end with a sixth-placed finish. The Red Devils are highly unlikely to end up fourth on the table unless things go dramatically wrong for Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. But Manchester United can hope for a favour from Liverpool and Arsenal to possibly finish fifth, although they must win their remaining two games to hope to do so.
Just two games remain for Manchester United to end a tumultuous season. And with chances of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League almost negligible, the Red Devils will lock horns with Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday evening, with the Seagulls hoping to get close to sealing a top-half finish. The reverse fixture ended in a 2-0 win for Manchester United, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes on target, while Brighton captain Lewis Dunk saw red. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Graham Potter has a new injury concern hampering his preparations ahead of the visit of Manchester United. On Saturday, the Brighton & Hove Albion manager will be bereft of the services of three first-team players due to various fitness issues. Enock Mwepu is the latest absentee for Brighton after sustaining a season-ending groin injury last weekend against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Zambian international has joined Jakub Moder (knee) and Jeremy Sarmiento (hamstring) on the sidelines.
Pascal Gross could come into the side to replace the injured Mwepu, with the German midfielder starting alongside Yves Bissouma and Moises Caicedo in a midfield unit that will adopt a defence-first approach to contain the threat of Bruno Fernandes and Juan Mata. But Gross and Caicedo will also carry a threat during the transitions.
Joel Veltman, Lewis Dunk and Marc Cucurella should form the central defensive unit that will aim to keep a lid on Cristiano Ronaldo’s output. The trio will cover Robert Sanchez in the Brighton goal. Tariq Lamptey and Leandro Trossard will be the two wing-backs, with the latter a player reborn in the new role as the left wing-back.
Danny Welbeck holds the record of being the highest-scoring player against Manchester United in Premier League history among those who have previously played for the Red Devils in the competition. And he will hope to extend that record when he spearheads the Brighton attack on Saturday. Alexis Mac Allister will play off the former Manchester United striker on Saturday.
Ralf Rangnick has greeted a mixed bag of updates on the team news front ahead of the trip to the Amex Stadium to take on Brighton & Hove Albion. The Manchester United interim manager will be without six first-team players on Saturday.
The good news is that Harry Maguire will be available after training this week after recovering from a knee injury. Aaron Wan-Bissaka should also be at Rangnick’s disposal after overcoming a knock. But the duo will unlikely find a place in the Manchester United starting eleven, with Diogo Dalot starting as the right-back, and Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof will form the central defensive partnership.
If interest in Graham Potter’s services was not already building ahead of the summer, a recent spate of strong results against European-chasing teams has surely caught the eye as Brighton seek to confirm a top-half finish in the Premier League, and those efforts were boosted in the West Midlands last week.
With Wolves enduring a miserable period both in the opposition’s and their own penalty area, Alexis Mac Allister converted a penalty after recently missing another before Leandro Trossard and Yves Bissouma also got in on the act in a 3-0 win for the rampant Seagulls.
Consigning their miserable February and March streak to history, a tally of 11 points from the last 18 on offer in the top flight has left Brighton sitting pretty in ninth place, although Leicester City are only two points behind with two games in hand amid their Europa Conference League travails.
Victories over Wolves, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur during a stellar spring period should lead to a wave of optimism from the home crowd that a famous result against the Red Devils could be on the cards, but home has not been where the heart is for Brighton in recent months.
Indeed, the Seagulls are still winless at the Amex in 2022 in the Premier League – drawing four and losing four since their Boxing Day success over Brentford – and a meagre tally of 12 top-flight goals at home is the joint-worst in the division alongside already-relegated Norwich City.
With most of their recent failures coming on unfamiliar territory, a welcome return to the Theatre of Dreams saw Man United put on one of their most convincing showings yet under Ralf Rangnick, and Brentford were no match for the revered Red Devils’ names on Monday evening.
Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane were all on the scoresheet to ensure that Man United’s Champions League hopes would not be dead and buried just yet, but it would still take something extraordinary for Erik ten Hag to lead the 20-time English champions in the European elite next term.
Victory over the Bees leaves Man United languishing in sixth place in the Premier League table – five points adrift of Arsenal, who have two games in hand on their adversaries – so anything but a win this weekend and the Red Devils will officially kiss their Champions League hopes goodbye.
Three points may only just delay the inevitable if Arsenal can claim an expected win over Leeds United a day later, and for all of Brighton’s recent failures at home, Man United enter Saturday’s game having lost each of their last four Premier League games on the road.
It has been 41 years since the Red Devils last lost more than four league games on the bounce away from home, but they comfortably saw off Brighton 2-0 at Old Trafford back in February for their sixth consecutive top-flight win against the Seagulls, who will be in no mood to have their wings clipped in their penultimate home clash of the season.