Line-ups Debate: How many changes to the XI?

Tuesday 15 February 2022 14:12

“Yes, it’s possible that we need to rotate,” explains Ralf Rangnick in our interview, so how many changes might the Manchester United interim manager make against Brighton & Hove Albion?

That’s the topic of our latest Line-ups Debate ahead of the much-anticipated team news dropping at 19:15 GMT, exactly one hour ahead of kick-off under the floodlights at Old Trafford. 

“In some positions, we could do with some fresh legs, some fresh energy,” continues Ralf, providing some more context. “We have the next game coming up at Leeds, another intense away game, and then in the Champions League against Atletico Madrid and then Watford.

“We have quite a few games coming up, every three or four days, and that’s why it’s good for me as manager that I have enough players, two players for each position, in order to give some players a rest and others a chance to perform.”

So, how many changes to the line-up do you anticipate? Let us know by voting in the poll below, before reading the opinions of United writers. Don't forget to make your United Predictions, either – you could win a signed shirt!
How many changes will Ralf Rangnick make v Brighton?poll

How many changes will Ralf Rangnick make v Brighton?


"Fred is once again available after recovering from COVID-19 and, in his exclusive interview with club media, Rangnick hinted that the Brazilian would be involved against Brighton, saying that his energy and physicality in midfield could prove useful against a Seagulls outfit who are unbeaten in seven top-flight games.

"Our no.17’s return would require breaking up the McTominay-Pogba-Fernandes midfield triumvirate. McTominay has played a lot of games recently and Ralf may want to rest him ahead of a busy end to February which sees us take on Leeds, Atletico Madrid and Watford in the space of six days.

"However, I think the German may opt to switch out Pogba. Paul has performed admirably in recent weeks, but he has just come back from a three-month lay-off so may need to be looked after. The prospect of him coming off the bench is a mouthwatering one, though."

- Sam Carney


“Rangnick didn’t give away many direct hints in yesterday’s press conference, but he did suggest we’ll see some rotation over the next fortnight. Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane have started alongside each other in our last four games and while Victor Lindelof has been out with illness recently, the Swede is back fit and had been in good form prior to his absence. He’s partnered well with both Varane and Maguire already, so either could come out to keep themselves fresh ahead of big fixtures against Leeds and Atleti.

“Elsewhere on the pitch, Fred is available again and his ball-winning qualities will be crucial against a strong Brighton midfield. I expect Rangnick may take out McTominay. Scott has put in fantastic performances against Leeds in the past, and we could do with a typical McTominay long-striding midfield performance in the spaces that Leeds often leave in these high-intensity matches.

“Higher up, Rangnick has been keen to pick out Marcus Rashford for praise as well as headline-making Jadon Sancho recently, and so the boss may stick with the two of them on the wings. On the other hand, Anthony Elanga showed great form in January, earning a nomination for our Player of the Month. He can be turned to to freshen things up out wide and perhaps Rashford can take a rest ahead of Sunday’s match.”

- Harry Robinson
Watch our exclusive Rangnick matchday interview Video

Watch our exclusive Rangnick matchday interview

Ralf discussed Graham Potter, Brighton's development and Raphael Varane's form in our matchday interview...


At the time of writing, this is what fans are saying in our predictions game...

First scorer:
44% = Cristiano Ronaldo
21% = Jadon Sancho
12% = Bruno Fernandes

Correct score:
28% = United 2 Brighton 1
24% = United 2 Brighton 0
13% = United 3 Brighton 1

Man of the Match:
24% = David De Gea
18% = Jadon Sancho
17% = Cristiano Ronaldo


Kick-off against Brighton has been scheduled for the later time of 20:15 GMT because UEFA rules state it cannot clash with the Champions League. 

Premier League and Champions League matches were previously not allowed to be held on the same night, but a rule change was made in January to tackle the number of domestic fixtures that had been postponed due to COVID-19. 

The game will not be broadcast live in the UK, but you can follow live build-up on MUTV from 19:10, followed by radio commentary and reaction. 

The United App and will also provide live updates throughout the evening, as well as our official social channels.

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Essential pre-match videos: