Here are the eleven key points you should know ahead of the Brighton clash:
(1) Following a stuttered start to the new season, Manchester United will hope to return to winning ways when they face Brighton tomorrow afternoon at the Old Trafford stadium. United lost this fixture 2-1 in the opening game week last season and they will hope not to let a reversal of the result affect their stride this campaign too.
(2) Manchester United head into this match on the back of a 3-1 defeat against Arsenal away from home. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for the visitors in the 27th minute but soon the dip in performance began. The joy of the lead was a brief one for United fans as Martin Odegaard equalised a minute later. While the match looked to be heading for a stalemate, the Gunners improved near the end of the game, scoring two goals courtesy of Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus.
(3) It is always important for teams looking for a top-four finish at the end of the long season to secure wins against contenders dreaming of achieving the same objective. Man United have failed to make a mark against two of the top-four contenders they faced this season, losing 2-0 versus Tottenham and the recent defeat against Arsenal accounting for that. Erik Ten Hag has urged for consistency from his players and they haven’t been able to deliver according to plan till now.
(4) New signing Sofyan Amrabat will miss the match as he reportedly came from Fiorentina injured due to which he was withdrawn by the Moroccan National Team during the international break. With the Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich just around the corner, it will be a tough job for United’s medical department to pass the midfielder fit for the big date.
BREAKING: Sofyan Amrabat will NOT be available to face Brighton! pic.twitter.com/bRXyvDUbtw— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) September 15, 2023
(5) Jadon Sancho has been left out of the squad following an altercation with the Dutch manager. The media quizzed Erik Ten Hag regarding the Jadon Sancho situation but the manager evaded the question and didn’t feel like replying directly on the matter. Rather, he decided to provide a review of the Arsenal match and how the squad is building up things for the Brighton clash. He said:
“We close the game, we work on the feedback. We give the team the feedback and I think we played very well at Arsenal. We could already see before the game, we trained very well and we played very well. We deserved much more at Arsenal and it was not on our side, and that was also the outcome of our analysts. You see we are progressing against a good Arsenal side, but minimum we had to get was a draw there. I think we should have won there but we didn’t. We take the performance and also in the last two days, when all the players they came back, we trained very well and we are ready to fight Brighton, a very good Brighton. But we are really looking forward to it and we have a good vibe, we are ready for it. I think everything is set. As I said, [the] squad is strong, [the] squad is in good spirit, good mood, going into the game.”
(6) The manager moved on to talk about setting new standards and departing from the culture which was common prior to this arrival. Ten Hag commented:
“Yeah but the straight line is not the point. The club asked me because there was no good culture before I entered last season. To set some standards, and that’s what I did. It’s my job to control the standards and, of course, it’s never has been when one person just makes one mistake, there is a whole process before you come to a certain outcome about straight lines. If staff, players, or whoever, there will always be a structure to cross lines, you have to be strong, absolutely.”
(7) On the criticism faced by Harry Maguire perhaps after the end of each and every match, Ten Hag said:
“I think I have said already, many times, it is disrespectful. He does not deserve it, he is a great player and [he has] given great performances. It’s crazy but it’s how it works and Harry has to block this by [his] performances.”
(8) Meanwhile, Brighton approach this match on the back of an emphatic 3-1 victory against Newcastle United. Evan Ferguson’s thrilling hattrick was enough to render the Magpies incapable of any comeback. While Callum Wilson pulled one back as a consolation in added time, the match was long decided in The Seagulls’ favour.
(9) Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi indicated the availability of Ansu Fati for the match as he said:
“I want him to enjoy the game and I want to enjoy watching him. He has only had four or five sessions with us so I want to give him as much time as possible.
“He is a big, big talent. I have worked with him for one week but if you ask me his best position in one month I will know.
“The same applies to Carlos Baleba, he is a great talent.”
(10) Hattrick scorer in their last match, Brighton have Evan Ferguson in training ahead of the Manchester United clash, however, his presence is doubtful in the starting eleven. Pervis Estupinan has returned fully fit from international duties.
(11) FPL TIP: Marcus Rashford is expected to make an impact over the next few games and he is a must for every FPL manager. Pascal Groß is the player to make the most key passes in the Premier League this season for Brighton and he is certainly on the watchlist. Evan Ferguson’s presence is contested due to fitness issues so it is better to go with Chelsea’s Nicolas Jackson at the moment.