On Saturday, the final rehearsal of Manchester United for their impending Champions League return brings high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion to Old Trafford. Erik ten Hag has had a fortnight to stem the bleeding within his ranks after the abuse allegations by Antony in Brazil followed his fallout with Jadon Sancho on the cusp of the international break.
The Dutchman must find a way to help his team focus on on-field matters as the Red Devils bid to bounce back from a heartbreaking 3-1 defeat at Arsenal last time. Alejandro Garnacho thought he had grabbed a late winner for Manchester United. Still, VAR found him a fraction offside, allowing the Gunners to score twice in stoppage time and inflict a second league loss on United this term.
Backing the three-time European champions for a runner-up finish in our 2023/24 Man Utd season preview might have been too generous, but they still have time. While the first international break of the 2023/24 season offered ten Hag and his men some respite, it couldn’t have come at a worse moment for visiting Brighton.
Roberto De Zerbi’s team proved their European credentials with a fantastic home victory of 3-1 over Newcastle United on the stroke of a two-week halt, responding to an identical loss to West Ham United in style. Despite losing Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo this summer, the Seagulls remain an attacking force, with young gun Evan Ferguson stealing the headlines in the early season.
Ten Hag will be looking to maintain the strong home record of United, but the Seagulls are flying high as they prepare for a first-ever European campaign this month.
Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Vs. Man-United Lineups
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Both sides are dealing with injuries, with Ten Hag particularly short of options in defense, and the Dutchman could also be without more critical players as his squad returns from international duty.
Most of De Zerbi’s central stars are available for the trip to Manchester, but there is a significant doubt over the in-form Evan Ferguson due to a knee problem.
Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Vs. Man-United Lineups are mentioned below:
Man United starting 11
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Onana — Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Reguilon — Casemiro, McTominay — Fernandes, Eriksen, Rashford — Hojlund.
Substitutes: Bayindir, Maguire, Martial, Garnacho, Pellistri, Wan-Bissaka, Evans, Gore, Mejbri.
Injured players: Shaw, Varane, Malacia, Mainoo, Diallo, Heaton, Antony
Doubtful: Mount, Martinez, Sancho
- Ten Hag’s injury list continues to grow at Old Trafford, with Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, and Raphael Varane absent from his defense. Even the presence of Lisandro Martinez is also doubtful as he got hurt in the defeat at Arsenal, and during the international break, he did not feature for Argentina.
- Antony is unavailable due to a leave of absence from the club amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of domestic violence, which he vehemently denies. Jadon Sancho will also miss out after being asked to train alone. At the same time, a disagreement with the manager is cleared up, so the right-wing spot is likely to be filled by Alejandro Garnacho or Facundo Pellistri. Sofyan Amrabat, who is newly signed, could make his United debut, and Rasmus Hojlund is in line for a first home appearance.
Brighton starting 11
Brighton (4-2-3-1): Steele (GK) — Lamptey, Van Hecke, Dunk, Veltman — Gross, Dahoud — Adingra, Lallana, Mitoma — Welbeck.
Substitutes: Verbruggen, Igor, Webster, Milner, Joao Pedro, Gilmour, Baleba, Ferguson, Fati.
Injured: Enciso, Moder
Doubtful: Welbeck, Ferguson
- Julio Enciso will stay out of action for Brighton, and Ferguson is still being assessed after he was forced to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad with a knee injury.
- Facundo Buonanotte could lead the visitors’ attack if Ferguson misses out or starts on the bench; even former United man Danny Welbeck is also doubtful.