Opposition guide: Brighton & Hove Albion
Manchester United make the long trip to the south coast of England on Tuesday, to face Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.
The Seagulls occupy 15th place in the league table with seven games to play and will be looking for a victory to help them stretch their six-point gap to the relegation zone even further.
Ahead of the game, here’s everything you need to know about Graham Potter’s side…
Potter already knew he would be without long-term absentees Steven Alzate and Jose Izqueirdo ahead of the game. Alzate has enjoyed a breakthrough season for Albion but is still suffering from a groin issue picked up prior to lockdown, while winger Izqueirdo hasn’t featured since April 2019 due to knee trouble.
Tariq Lamptey, who impressed during the Seagulls’ goalless draw at Leicester last Tuesday, picked up a head injury in that game but should be fine to feature, while Adam Webster faces a fight to be fit after he suffered a hamstring problem in the first half at the King Power Stadium.
Brighton went into the coronavirus-enforced suspension of football as the only Premier League team yet to win in 2020, but they put that unwanted record to bed in their first game back, beating Arsenal 2-1 at home thanks to late goals from Lewis Dunk and Neal Maupay. Three days later, the Seagulls held Leicester to a goalless draw at the King Power Stadium, a result which could have been better had it not been for Maupay’s early penalty miss. Albion have won five of their 15 home league fixtures this season, including an impressive 3-0 dismantling of Tottenham Hotspur in October.
OUR RECORD AGAINST BRIGHTON
United will be keen to wipe the Amex Stadium off the short list of Premier League venues we’ve never won a game at. The Reds have lost on both of our previous away trips to Brighton's current home, and each of the last five top-flight meetings between the teams have gone the way of the home side – with United coming out on top in the reverse fixture in November. On the day in which we played our youngest Premier League side since May 2017, the Reds saw off the Seagulls 3-1, courtesy of strikes from Academy graduates Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford. Overall, the Reds have faced Brighton on 22 occasions in all competitions, winning 14, drawing five and losing three.
Highlights: United 3 Brighton 1Video
Potter is in his first season in charge at the Amex Stadium, and the former Ostersunds and Swansea City boss has helped transform Brighton from a cautious, safety-first outfit into one of the top-flight’s most progressive, possession-orientated sides. Albion have completed 15,522 passes so far in 2019/20, which is the sixth-highest mark in the division. Last season, they were 17th in this measure, which shows just how Potter likes his football to be played. The 45-year-old featured in the lower leagues for much of his professional career, although he did enjoy an eight-game Premier League stint at Southampton – during which he helped the Saints to a shock 6-3 win over champions United at the Dell, in 1996.
ONE TO WATCH
Pascal Gross has been United’s bete noire in our last two visits to the Amex, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win at the back end of the 2017/18 season and slotting home a penalty in our first away fixture of the following campaign, a 3-2 reverse. However, the German has only started 19 of 31 league games under Potter, with Aaron Mooy often preferred by Potter in the playmaker role. The Australian has starred against the Reds in the past for Huddersfield, and his link-up with forward duo Neal Maupay (nine goals in 25 starts) and Aaron Connolly (two in 10) will be pivotal if the Seagulls are to make it three wins out of three against us.