Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester United Preview

Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester United Preview
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Image from Kwese

Game two of the season and after a narrow win at Old Trafford on the opening day against Leicester City, Manchester United travel south to Brighton aiming for a fourth season with back-to-back victories in the first two games. Brighton themselves lost poorly to Watford and rarely got into the game with not a single shot on target and 46% possession but seem to have an almost fully fit squad and are likely to name a similar squad to the Saturday XI. 

Manchester United played Brighton three times last season and won two of the fixtures (one in the FA Cup) but more importantly United lost the away match that not only decided that Brighton would stay for at least another season in the Premier League, but also meant that they lost the away game to all three promoted sides (2-1 to Huddersfield, 1-0 to Newcastle and 1-0 to Brighton) in what was United's seventh league defeat of the season. 

Image result for romelu lukaku
Lukaku is likely to make his first start of the season against Brighton on Sunday
Image from 90min

In his press conference today, Jose Mourinho has denied any claims that Pogba is unhappy and that there was a training bust-up between the two, all of which is highly overexaggerated by the press. Pogba led United out at Old Trafford last Friday as the captain and got off the mark early in the game with a calm penalty and is expected to be named skipper again as Antonio Valencia, whilst back to first-team training, is still not fit to feature against the Seagulls. Mourinho has also stated that although Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic are both back in training, they are also not ready to play and should not feature. Romelu Lukaku came on against Leicester for a brief return to the side after his heroics for Belgium at the World Cup and should have scored were it not for a big save from Kasper Schmeichel. Nevertheless, the big Belgian is likely to start against Brighton in the place of Marcus Rashford who did not have the best game against the Foxes in which he was bullied by the physical prescences of Maguire and Morgan. 

It is likely that Manchester United will not many any other changes other than Lukaku for Rashford and should dominate possession like they have done in all three previous matches last season with an average of roughly 62% possession. The difference this time is hopefully the Red Devils can be more clinical and open up the game early on and get a big win under their belts. If United score early, it could be any score as Brighton will need to get into the game and aim to score and with the calibre of players at their disposal, this should be the case.

PREDICTED LINEUP: De Gea, Darmian, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw, Pereira, Fred, Pogba (C) Mata, Sanchez, Lukaku

PREDICTED SCORE: 3-0 to Man Utd 

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