Your essential guide to United v Brighton
Manchester United will be looking for a seventh successive win in all competitions under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when Brighton & Hove Albion visit Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds have been in scintillating form under caretaker manager Solskjaer and will be looking to maintain his maximum Premier League points tally as our bid to climb the table continues.
We beat the Seagulls twice at home last season, in the league and Emirates FA Cup, but lost 3-2 in this season's first meeting, at the Amex Stadium back in August.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this weekend’s match…
WHAT'S THE TEAM NEWS?
The Reds will be boosted by the return of Eric Bailly, who has served a three-match ban following his red card against Bournemouth last month but fellow defenders Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling are not yet fit enough to return from injury. Solskjaer also confirmed to the media on Friday that Marouane Fellaini is set to be out for three to four weeks with a calf problem but he hopes Alexis Sanchez will be available after the Chilean missed last weekend’s 1-0 win at Tottenham when aggravating his hamstring injury in the FA Cup win over Reading.
HOW ABOUT BRIGHTON?
The Seagulls will once again be without goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who are at the Asian Cup with Australia and Iran respectively. The visitors will also be without versatile Brazilian player Bernardo (hamstring) and Colombian forward Jose Izquierdo (knee), while Malian midfielder Yves Bissouma is a doubt after missing last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to Liverpool with a hip problem. Experienced Austrian full-back Markus Suttner also joined German club Fortuna Dusseldorf on loan until the end of the season on Friday.
HOW ARE BRIGHTON DOING?
The Seagulls' four-match unbeaten run came to an end last weekend by the narrowest of margins - leaders Liverpool needed a Mohamed Salah penalty to defeat them 1-0. Chris Hughton’s side, who are in their second season in the Premier League, currently sit 13th in the table with 26 points from 22 games so far and are eight points clear of the relegation zone. They have only picked up one point from their last three away league games, drawing 2-2 at West Ham after a 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth and 1-0 loss at Burnley.
WHAT'S OUR RECORD AGAINST BRIGHTON LIKE?
Historically, the Reds have a strong record against the Seagulls, ahead of what will be only our 21st meeting. United have won 12 of the previous 20 encounters, drawing five and losing three. Saturday’s game will be the 10th between the teams at Old Trafford and only the fourth in the Premier League era altogether. The Reds have lost the last two against the Seagulls, both at the Amex Stadium – 3-2 in August and 1-0 in May – but have won the last two at the Theatre of Dreams. Ashley Young’s strike deflected in off Lewis Dunk to give United a 1-0 victory in last season’s corresponding league fixture, before goals from Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic earned a 2-0 win in the FA Cup quarter-final tie. Watch the goals from both of those games below…
FA Cup highlights: United 2 Brighton 0Video
Premier League highlights: United 1 Brighton 0 Video
WHO'S THE REFEREE?
Paul Tierney will take charge of his second United match of the season on Saturday, after also handling our 2-1 victory at Bournemouth in November. The Wigan-based whistler also officiated two Reds games last season - our 4-0 FA Cup win at Yeovil Town and 1-0 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion. The 38-year-old has issued 68 yellow cards, sent off one player and awarded just one penalty in 20 games in all competitions so far this term. Tierney will be assisted by Simon Beck and Mick McDonough, with Lee Mason acting as the fourth official.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE SCORE WILL BE?
Get involved by predicting the outcome of Saturday’s game. Win exclusive prizes throughout the season by playing the Match Predictor.
WHO ARE OUR RIVALS PLAYING THIS WEEKEND?
The Premier League schedule will be spread across two days, kicking off on Saturday with a lunchtime encounter at Molineux…
SATURDAY 19 JANUARY
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City (12:30 GMT)
Bournemouth v West Ham United
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion
Newcastle United v Cardiff City
Southampton v Everton
Watford v Burnley
Arsenal v Chelsea (17:30 GMT)
SUNDAY 20 JANUARY
Huddersfield Town v Manchester City (13:30 GMT)
Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur (16:00 GMT)
Alexis (and Rossi!) in training Gallery
The Reds are working hard, come rain or shine! Check out today's session at the Aon Training Complex...