Early team news for Brighton away

Thursday 05 May 2022 10:00

Manchester United could be boosted by several reinforcements for our Saturday afternoon trip to Brighton this weekend.

Ralf Rangnick’s Reds will make the journey down to the south coast looking to build on Monday’s win over Brentford, ahead of our Premier League clash (17:30 BST kick-off) at the Amex Stadium. 

United are likely to have the option to welcome back a number of players who missed that victory over the Bees on Monday night, including Aaron Wan-Bissaka and club captain Harry Maguire, who were both pictured back in training on Wednesday. 

Two Reds return to first-team training


Ralf Rangnick's side have been provided with a fitness boost ahead of Saturday's trip to Brighton.

The latter had been dealing with a knee issue, which made him an absentee for our last two matches, along with Wan-Bissaka, whose problem was unknown. 

Having returned to training at Carrington, the pair could come back into the defence, although Rangnick could opt for the same back four – plus goalkeeper David De Gea – that kept a clean sheet last time out. 

Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane and Alex Telles made up that four-man defence, with Varane netting his first United goal in the Monday-night win. Eric Bailly and Phil Jones will also be in contention to play, all being well.

An appearance is unlikely for Luke Shaw, however, who is set to miss our remaining two matches, with Rangnick recently admitting that he didn’t think the full-back would be able to return from his leg operation this season. 
The same can be said in midfield for Paul Pogba, who has a calf problem, and therefore Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic could play alongside each other at the base of centre midfield as they have done in each of our last three outings. 

That could be shaken up by the recent return from injury for Fred however, who made his comeback from the bench as a second-half substitute last time out. 
Further up the pitch, Jadon Sancho is also expected to be sidelined for the game at Brighton and our final-day trip to Crystal Palace, so Anthony Elanga, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are likely to compete for the spots in the wide areas again if Rangnick favours a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation. 

Juan Mata made his first start of the Premier League season against Brentford and could feature once more in a favoured no.10 role behind a striker.

With Mata starting in our last match, Bruno Fernandes played more towards the left of the attacking midfield area and netted his 50th goal for the club. The Portuguese has also captained the Reds recently in Maguire’s absence and could do again at the Amex Stadium if the defender does not start. 
Edinson Cavani made his first United appearance since before the March international break on Monday however, having returned to fitness, and could be in line to further build his minutes up on the south coast, from the start or off the bench. 

Youngsters Alejandro Garnacho and Alvaro Fernandez were among the Reds’ substitutes against the Bees and the former could get some more first-team minutes, having made his senior bow recently, ahead of next week’s FA Youth Cup final at Old Trafford. 

If Fernandez was to be thrust into the action, he would become United’s latest first-team debutant. 

"It's exciting to see how they handle it"


Justin Cochrane, head of Academy player development, explains how the FA Youth Cup will test United's U18s players.


The Seagulls’ picture will likely become a little bit clearer when boss Graham Potter hold his pre-match press conference at the back end of this week.

Midfielder Enock Mwepu could be unavailable for the hosts after he was forced off during their 3-0 win at Wolves at the weekend. 

Tariq Lamptey may be back in contention to start in defence for the Seagulls, after he missed their game against Southampton but made an appearance from the substitutes bench at Molineux last time out. Jakub Moder won't feature however, having recently been ruled out for the rest of the season.