Preview: Brighton v Manchester United

Alexis Sanchez Manchester United

Brighton will be targeting their first win in seven Premier League games when they host a Manchester United side enjoying a good run of form.

Premier League
4 May 2018
Gameweek 37
Kick-off: 21H00 local time
Venue: The Amex Stadium
Referee: C. Pawson
Assistants: S. Child, S. Burt
Fourth official: S. Attwell

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Brighton 10 1 2 7
Manchester United 10 7 2 1

Previous encounter:

Manchester United 2-0 Brighton 17/03/18 (FA Cup)

Manchester United goalscorers: R. Lukaku (37′), N. Matic (83′)

Players to watch:

Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross have been the most productive in the final third for Brighton this season. Murray has bagged 14 goals in all competitions, while Gross has netted six and provided eight assists.

With Romelu Lukaku on the sidelines, Marcus Rashford may get a rare start leading the line for United. The 20-year-old has scored 12 goals and produced nine assists this season in all competitions this term. Despite featuring in 32 Premier League games in 2017/18, Rashford has made only 15 starts.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Seagulls have virtually secured their place in the Premier League for another season as they sit 14th in the standings, five points clear of the relegation zone.

Chris Hughton’s side come into the clash having gone six games without a victory. They lost against Everton, Leicester and Crystal Palace, while drawing with Huddersfield, Tottenham and most recently Burnley.

“You have to go into every game thinking you can get a result – we’ll be buoyed by our previous matches but United are in a good rhythm – these are the challenges we’ve worked so hard for,” Hughton said in his pre-match press conference.

“We have to be good on the ball and cause them problems – for any side that has their quality you know they’ll be offensive and you know at times they’ll take chances going forward.

“We have an opportunity on Friday to do ourselves a big favour… if we can perform as well as we did against them on the previous two occasions then we give ourselves a chance.”

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho’s men have been in impressive form, winning seven of their last eight league encounters. Their only recent defeat came against West Brom, who ground out a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

United are second in the standings with a five-point lead over third-placed Liverpool and a game in hand over their arch-rivals. In their last two games, the Red Devils beat Bournemouth 2-0 away from home before edging out Arsenal 2-1 at Old Trafford.

When asked about the job Hughton has done at Brighton, Mourinho told the press: “Very very good, to go from very very good to amazing he just needs to be mathematically confirmed a Premier League place for next season, I think they don’t need more points I think they have the job done but mathematically they still need a point or something or other results to go their way.

“I think Brighton will be there next year and that’s a fantastic job for Chris and not surprising for me because since the start they have showed the quality and mentality to get the points they need to stay in the division which they have done in a very good way.”

Team news:

Brighton will be able to call upon Davy Propper again, after his three-match suspension, but Steve Sidwell remains sidelined.

United will be without Lukaku due to injury, while Eric Bailly is expected to feature after missing the last four games.

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