Brighton v United: Your essential match preview
Manchester United head to the south coast on Saturday to face Brighton & Hove Albion in our opening away game of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
After the disappointing defeat to Crystal Palace in our campaign opener, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will be keen to get off the mark against a side we convincingly beat in the last iteration of this fixture, at the end of June.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the lunchtime clash…
Kick-off at the Amex Stadium is scheduled for 12:30 BST and fans in the UK can watch the match live on BT Sport. Supporters can also follow our rolling updates on ManUtd.com and within our Official App, while MUTV will provide live build-up, radio commentary and reaction from 11:25 BST.
Brighton go into Saturday’s match three points and seven places above United in the nascent 2020/21 table, having won one and lost one of their two games so far. Graham Potter’s side were unfortunate to fall to a 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea in their season opener, but reacted in style by putting Newcastle to the sword at the weekend. Neal Maupay netted twice in the opening seven minutes and Aaron Connolly added another late on, as the Seagulls ran out 3-0 winners. Albion have also won each of their two Carabao Cup games this term, beating Portsmouth 4-0 and Preston 2-0 to set up a fourth-round tie against United at the Amex next week.
The Reds may not have got off to the kind of start we wished for, but we are aiming to make it five consecutive away wins in the Premier League. In fact, we haven’t lost a match on the road – aside from those played at neutral venues – in any competition since the 2-0 reverse to Liverpool at Anfield, way back in January, a record we kept up with a convincing 3-0 victory at Luton in the third round of the Carabao Cup earlier this week.
EARLY TEAM NEWS
Several Reds could be in line to make their first league appearances of the campaign on Saturday, after coming through Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Luton Town in the Carabao Cup. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Brandon Williams, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata all got minutes under their belt as Solskjaer rotated his line-up at Kenilworth Road, while goalkeeper Dean Henderson made his long-awaited first-team debut. Centre-back Axel Tuanzebe remains on the sidelines, but is approaching a return.
Brighton will definitely be missing midfielder Yves Bissouma, after he was sent off during the closing stages of their win at Newcastle on Sunday, while Jose Izquierdo and Florin Andone are long-term absentees for the Seagulls. Potter rotated his line-up for the tie against Preston, with the squad looking as follows: Steele, Veltman, Roberts, Burn, Bernardo, Gross, Propper, Sanders (Cochrane 88), Jahanbakhsh (Jenks 83), Mac Allister (Gwargis 81), Gyokeres.
Brighton wing-back Lamptey has impressed for the south-coast club since Project Restart with a serious of impressive and energetic performances down the right flank. The Seagulls’ no.2, who turns 20 next week, came through the ranks at Chelsea, where he featured in the Blues’ 2018 FA Youth Cup success. He made three appearances for Frank Lampard’s outfit last season, before moving to Sussex at the end of January. Since then, he has established himself as Potter’s first-choice right-back and particularly caught the eye in his side’s convincing victory at St James’ Park.
LAST TIME OUT
It’s less than three months since we last visited the Amex in the Premier League, in only our third league game back after the resumption of football in June. After two defeats in two on the south coast since Brighton’s promotion in 2017, supporters would have been forgiven for being slightly anxious about our prospects, but Solskjaer’s side soon put any worries to bed, racing into a 2-0 half-time lead courtesy of goals from Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese then added a superb third just after the break, arriving at the back post to finish off a sweeping counter-attack.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Sian Massey-Ellis, Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Graham Scott
VAR: Simon Hooper
Assistant VAR: Neil Davies
Saturday 26 September
Brighton v UNITED (12:30 BST)
Crystal Palace v Everton (15:00 BST)
West Brom v Chelsea (17:30 BST)
Burnley v Southampton (20:00 BST)
Sunday 27 September
Sheffield United v Leeds (12:00 BST)
Tottenham v Newcastle (14:00 BST)
Manchester City v Leicester (16:30 BST)
West Ham v Wolves (19:00 BST)
Monday 28 September
Fulham v Aston Villa (18:00 BST)
Liverpool v Arsenal (20:00 BST)