Early team news: Brighton v United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have a number of selection decisions to make when his Manchester United side travel to the south coast to take on Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The boss rotated his line-up for Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Luton Town in the Carabao Cup, with only skipper Harry Maguire retaining his place from the defeat to Crystal Palace in our opening fixture of the campaign.
After the game at Kenilworth Road, Ole spoke about the importance of his squad getting match-time following the short close season and he will have been impressed by the way a number of players performed in their first starts of the season.
Goalkeeper Dean Henderson kept a clean sheet on his maiden appearance for the Reds and was notably helped in that task by Eric Bailly, who made a heroic goal-line clearance from Tom Lockyer, shortly after our new no.26 had made his own miraculous save from the Luton player.
Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard looked lively in midfield, as did Donny van de Beek – who failed to add to his debut United goal but did claim our Man-of-the-Match award.
However, the Reds only wrapped the game up after the introduction of goalscorers Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, plus Bruno Fernandes, from the bench late in the second half, with all three pressing their claims for a starting berth at the Amex Stadium.
The likes of David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, all of whom started in our 3-0 victory at the Amex in June, were rested altogether for the game in Bedfordshire, but will all hope to be involved at the weekend.
Solskjaer has virtually a full squad to choose from: as it stands, United’s only absentees are Axel Tuanzebe, who is still stepping up his recovery from an injury which has kept him out of first-team contention since December 2019, and fellow centre-back Phil Jones.
Graham Potter also took the opportunity to make changes during Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Preston North End, which set up a fourth-round Carabao Cup tie against United next week.
With central midfielder Yves Bissouma suspended for Saturday’s match and Dale Stephens linked with a move to Burnley, the likes of Davy Propper, Pascal Gross and Alexis Mac Allister staked their claims for a place in the starting line-up by starring in the Seagulls’ win at Deepdale.
Right-back Tariq Lamptey, who has caught the eye since breaking into the Brighton team after lockdown, should be okay to feature despite exiting the pitch early in last weekend’s victory over Newcastle, as should young forward Aaron Connolly.
Long-term injury concerns Jose Izquierdo, Florin Andone and Christian Walton are still out.