Match preview: Brighton v United

Friday 17 May 2024 11:56

Manchester United's 2023/24 Premier League campaign draws to a close this weekend, with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion in the last round of matches.

Securing a place in European competition for 2024/25 remains possible for the Reds during Sunday's 16:00 BST kick-off at the Amex Stadium, which will be our penultimate outing of the term, ahead of next week's campaign-concluding Emirates FA Cup final appearance.

Scroll down for more information on the final-day permutations, plus live coverage info, team news and further insight on Brighton, in our match preview.


MUTV, and the United App are the places to be to watch pre-match and post-match coverage on Sunday. Our Matchday Live show gets under way at 14:55 BST and will have all your essential build-up and reaction, either side of radio commentary of our final-day fixture.

Via official platforms, you will also be able to find exclusive interviews, rolling updates and interactive content, while the Match Centre in our app will give you the option to track in-game data and statistics.

While the encounter is not being broadcast on live TV in the UK, short match highlights will be available globally on our app and website two hours after the final whistle, with extended versions watchable on demand from the early hours of Monday morning.


Erik ten Hag reported during Thursday's press conference that Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane had been back on the grass earlier in the day, and while it is unclear whether they will be available on the south coast, it seems the pair have a chance to return before the end of the season.

Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Mason Mount and Luke Shaw are all recent absentees without specified return dates as of yet, although it appears they will miss this weekend's outing.

As for Brighton, Roberto De Zerbi is yet to hold his pre-match media briefing, but the Seagulls boss is waiting for news on the extent of captain Lewis Dunk's knee injury, sustained in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

The availability of fellow defender Joel Veltman is unclear, after he missed the Chelsea clash, while Jan Paul van Hecke is already confirmed to be out for Sunday. Pervis Estupinan, Evan Ferguson, Jack Hinshelwood, Solly March, James Milner and Kaoru Mitoma are also injured.

Team news for Brighton v United


Ten Hag says two Reds have returned to the grass at Carrington, ahead of our top-flight swansong.


United can secure at least a place in next season's UEFA Conference League on Sunday, but will need to better Newcastle United's result at Brentford to stand a chance of leapfrogging the Magpies into seventh place.

The two clubs are level on 57 points after Wednesday's 3-2 win for Ten Hag's team at Old Trafford, but the north-east outfit have a much superior goal difference to ours. A Newcastle victory on Sunday would all but guarantee they finish ahead of us, but anything less would leave the door open for the Reds to overtake. Ending the season in sixth is not mathematically impossible, although extremely unlikely, as it would require a win that moves us above Newcastle and closes a 16-goal swing to Chelsea, who would have to lose their game at home to Bournemouth.

While a seventh-place finish would guarantee a Conference League spot, United could still play in the UEFA Europa League instead next season, should we beat Man City in next weekend's FA Cup final.

How can United qualify for Europe?


The Reds have two potential routes into continental competition next season, as we head into the final week of 2023/24.


Brighton will also have something to play for on the final day, as one of four clubs that could finish in 10th place, just inside the top half of the Premier League table.

The Seagulls currently hold that position, with 48 points from their 37 games, just ahead of Bournemouth on goal difference and two points clear of Crystal Palace and Wolves. De Zerbi has made it clear that the top 10 is the target for Brighton, as they look to achieve the feat for the third term in a row.

Like United, the south-coast side have had a number of injuries to deal with this season, while reaching the last 16 in both the Emirates FA Cup and UEFA Europa League. Their participation in the latter tournament marked their first-ever campaign in a European club football competition. 

Brazilian forward Joao Pedro, a summer signing from Watford, has scored 20 goals in his first season at the club, and returned to the squad in midweek from a one-game absence.

Pedro was on the scoresheet in September's reverse fixture at Old Trafford.


A 1-0 victory over Aston Villa earlier this month, followed by a 1-1 draw at Newcastle, was a source of some momentum for De Zerbi's men, who have struggled for league form since their European exit in March.

That win at home to Villa is the only time they have taken all three points in their last nine games, but they can draw confidence from the aforementioned results, which came before their narrow defeat to Chelsea in midweek. They may also be boosted by a 3-1 triumph in September's reverse fixture against United, and by knowing that they have won each of the last four league meetings between the sides.

As for the Reds, Wednesday's win over Newcastle got us back to winning ways after successive defeats at the hands of Arsenal and Crystal Palace. Before then, Ten Hag's team had only been beaten by Chelsea since the March international break, but the focus will now be on ending the season on a high by picking up a positive result at the Amex Stadium.

If United are to do that, we must overcome recent history that has seen us lose on our previous two visits to Brighton's home. Before then, however, the Reds did win on three successive trips in 2020, while we have most recently had success against the Seagulls at Wembley Stadium, following a penalty shootout in last season's FA Cup semi-final.


Our game is one of 10 taking place on the final day of the Premier League season. All fixtures will kick off at 16:00 BST...


Arsenal v Everton
Brentford v Newcastle United
Brighton & Hove Albion v UNITED
Burnley v Nottingham Forest
Chelsea v Bournemouth
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Wolves
Luton Town v Fulham
Manchester City v West Ham United
Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur