We don’t know whose clever idea it was to have Manchester United, a team from the north of the country, travel all the way down to Brighton on a Friday night. But well done to them. Extremely clever. Top work.
Anyway, it could be a proper end of term fixture, this one. But United’s players will need to fight against the urge to sit in their own clothes and play board games all day, since there are 11 starting places up for grabs in the FA Cup final, and Jose Mourinho doesn’t need much of an excuse to send somebody or other into cold hard exile. Apparently Eric Bailly isn’t playing at the moment because he isn’t going to the World Cup. Makes sense.
As for Brighton, they’re in a weird limbo, simultaneously pretty much safe but also could be dragged into the mire if something weird happens. They probably deserve to stay up, for whatever that’s worth: 37 points from that squad, on that budget, is very decent work indeed. But their last three games are against the league’s top three, and if the big boys are in the mood, there’s the potential for something ruinous to happen to their goal difference.
Adding to the intrigue, there’s an interesting conundrum up front for Mourinho tonight. Romelu Lukaku is missing with a knock, and so some combination and distribution of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will have to lead the line. This in turn might lead to something of a change in style: no point punting long balls at their heads. We’d like to see Martial through the middle, because we think that might be fun.
Premier League schedule
We kick off at 20:00 in the UK, which is a more traditional 15:00 on the east coast of the USA, and 12:00 over on the west. There goes the sun, over the yardarm. Kick back and enjoy yourselves.
Premier League TV channel
You’ll need either Sky Sports Premier League or Sky Sports Main Event in the UK, and NBCSN in the USA. Everybody else, hie thee to livesoccertv.
Premier League streaming
SkyGo in the UK, NBCSports.com in the USA.
Prediction: David de Gea; Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young; Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba; Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford.
Full lineups to follow once they’re out in the wild. This will also be our live thread for the game, so do join us in the comments below.