Manchester United come up against Brighton after the International break at Old Trafford on Sunday evening in the Premier League. Pre the international break the Red Devils overcame Manchester City away at the Etihad Stadium, before narrowly beating West Ham at home.
Visitors, Brighton, have given themselves breathing space although they are flirting around the relegation zone having beaten Newcastle United comfortably at the Amex Stadium on the March 20th. Prior to this Brighton defeated Southampton 1-2 at St Mary's a week before.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he will continue to chop and change goalkeepers for the rest of the season as David De Gea and Dean Henderson battle to be United's number one. Henderson has mainly been used as a cup goalkeeper since returning to the club in the summer but started the last six matches after De Gea returned to Spain for the birth of his first child.
In terms of injuries, Anthony Martial may be out against Brighton with a reported knee issue picked up on French duty, while Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood pulled out of the England senior and Under 21 squads. Victor Lindelof also missed training on Friday, with an ongoing back issue that needs assessing before facing Brighton, so Eric Bailly could partner Harry Maguire in the heart of defence. Paul Pogba is in line to make his first league appearance in two months.
Florin Andone and striker Aaron Connolly have trained with Brighton after being substituted playing for the Republic of Ireland last week against Serbia. The 21 year old could feature in the squad. Aaron Webster will miss out on the trip to Old Trafford as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury, with Tariq Lamptey and Solly March missing for the remainder of the season.
Percy Tau is also quarantining after featuring for South Africa during the International break. Danny Welbeck is in contention to play at his old stamping ground, he has scored and assisted in his last two outings and is expected to partner Neal Maupay in attack.
The Reds will be looking to bounce back from the Emirates FA Cup quarter final defeat at Leicester City prior to the International break, when United take to the pitch on Saturday night. Before then, Ole's Reds had put together a run of 14 games unbeaten in all competitions and will be hopeful to draw confidence from that. Four clean sheets in the last four Premier League outings also means that they can register five on the bounce in the league for the first time since March 2013.
Meanwhile, Brighton make the trip up from the south coast aiming to replicate their pre international break form. Graham Potter's side registered back to back wins for only the second time in the Premier League this season, recording victories against Southampton and Newcastle. The Seagulls have also only lost one of their last five away games ahead of their visit to the Theatre of Dreams.
United’s last meeting with Brighton was a 3-1 score line at Old Trafford back in November 2019. A game settled by Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford. Lewis Dunk did get a goal for Brighton, but the Seagulls have never won at Old Trafford so would need to surpass this record if they are to get three points on Sunday evening.
Players to watch
Edinson Cavani will look to continue his goal scoring antics. Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Rashford have plenty of quality at their disposal to trouble the Seagulls as a trio, assists and goals always a danger to the opposition. Greenwood and Donny Van De Beek will be used as impact players if they aren’t in the starting line-up. Fernandes and McTominay will look to dominate the midfield.
Fred could also be used as an impact player off the substitutes bench. Amad Diallo has settled well at United and will be looking to show his quality once again as Luke Shaw has shown all season, with his much improved play at the back, a fierce winger assisting in numbers and using the wide areas to the best of his ability.
Looking to Brighton Danny Welbeck and Adam Lallana have loads of experience on the pitch and are the players to highlight for the Seagulls. Welbeck will be looking to get one over his old club, while Lallana will look to be supplier in the heart of midfield. Maupay is dangerous upfront and can be a threat for any oppositions defence playing through the lines and making runs in behind, with Lewis Dunk an authoritative body at the back valuable in set piece situations.
- How to watch
The clash kicks off at 19.30 (GMT) and will be broadcasted live on BT Sports in the UK.
What the managers have said
Solskjaer spoke to club media. When asked about Brighton as an outfit he was very pleased with their intentions when United played them at the Amex Stadium.
The Norweigan was thrilled with the victory which gave United a much needed three points in stoppage time through a penalty:
"Since we came I've played them quite a few times and we have always had some hard fought games, difficult games. When you prepare for a game against Brighton you can see all of our players with bright eyes because we really respect the way they play and the quality they've had against us and we know we have to be on our best to earn the right to play, to work really hard to get the ball off them."
On the goalkeeper scenario at the club. Solskjaer admits the place is open to selection:
"We have, I have a great option of two good goalkeepers and its a pleasure to have them here we have got, hopefully 9 plus 5 games to go, we want to go all the way in the Europa League as well. So I'm sure you will see both of them playing in goal for us. What I can say is what I have said so many times, I have great options playing the two of them, top keepers and of course both of them want to play as much as possible and that will be decided on merit, that will be decided on who will give us a win on any given day. The two keepers will probably be needed in these last few games and they both know we value them really highly and its a difficult decision to leave one of them out. Its a good decision to make so you will probably see both of them."
When Potter faced the media, he was asked about United's challenge on Sunday. He was complementary on what Solskjaer has done in his short reign:
"Good, we had a tough game at home that was a sore one for us, against them earlier in the season, probably summarises our season to a certain extent in terms of played well enough to get something from the game but a goal after the final whistle and a few other things, but that's life. We have watched them a lot and you can see their quality they have got unbelievable players, Ole has done a really good job there you can see the improvement of players, Luke Shaw for example, so they are a strong defensively and very talented players when they are attacking. As you can expect a team pushing for the Champions League so this will be a tough game."