Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United: Preview and Prediction

Manchester United will be desperate to end a frustrating 2023/24 Premier League campaign on a high when they face Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

The 2023/24 Premier League season will end on Sunday with Gameweek 38. All ten matches in the final round of fixtures will kick off simultaneously, with one of those featuring Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton & Hove Albion have endured a sub-par 2023/24 campaign, failing to qualify for Europe while bowing out of the UEFA Europa League in the round of 16. The Seagulls will not finish any higher than tenth and can finish in the bottom half if they lose on Sunday and any of Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, and Wolverhampton Wanderers win.

As for Manchester United, they have been dreadful in the 2023/24 season thus far. While the campaign can end with a trophy and top-seven finish, they will likely fail to qualify for European competition. It has been one step forward and three steps back for much of the ongoing term. So, it is hardly surprising that Erik ten Hag faces an uncertain future at the club amid the Red Devils’ links with several other managers.

The reverse fixture saw Brighton & Hove Albion cruise to a 3-1 win over Manchester United, with Hannibal Mejbri scoring a consolation goal for the Red Devils. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Brighton & Hove Albion

Roberto De Zerbi has a new injury concern hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s final game of the 2023/24 season. Against Manchester United on Sunday, the Brighton & Hove Albion manager will be bereft of the services of nine first-team players.

Lewis Dunk is the latest absentee, with the Brighton captain picking up a knee injury that has brought his campaign to a premature halt. The Englishman has joined Jack Hinshelwood (foot), Pervis Estupinan (ankle), Jan Paul van Hecke (thigh), Solly March (knee), Kaoru Mitoma (back), James Milner (hamstring), and Evan Ferguson (ankle) on the sidelines.

Dunk’s absence means Adam Webster and Igor should pair up at the heart of the defence, with Valentin Barco and Tariq Lamptey being the two full-backs. Bart Verbruggen should get the nod over Jason Steele between the sticks.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Billy Gilmour and Pascal Gross in the double pivot. Joao Pedro should reprise the no. 10 role, with Simon Adingra and Facundo Buonanotte being the two wide attackers. Finally, former Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck will lead the line for Brighton on Sunday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Verbruggen; Lamptey, Webster, Igor, Barco; Gilmour, Gross; Buonanotte, Pedro, Adingra; Welbeck

Manchester United

Unlike his counterpart in the Brighton & Hove Albion dugout, Erik ten Hag does not have a new issue to deal with ahead of the trip to the Amex Stadium. The Manchester United manager will be without seven first-team players on Sunday.

Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are the most notable absentees due to their muscle injuries. In addition, Raphael Varane (muscular), Victor Lindelof (hamstring), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Mason Mount (unspecified), and Anthony Martial (groin) remain on the sidelines.

Andre Onana is an automatic pick between the sticks, with Manchester United lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Brighton & Hove Albion. The backline should feature Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Jonny Evans, and Diogo Dalot.

As for the midfield unit, Sofyan Amrabat, who has been impressive in recent showings, will pair up with Kobbie Mainoo in the double pivot. Bruno Fernandes will reprise the no. 10 role, with Marcus Rashford and Amad Diallo being the two wide attackers. Finally, Rasmus Hojlund will spearhead the attack for the away side against Brighton.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Evans, Dalot; Amrabat, Mainoo; Diallo, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund

Key Stats

  • Brighton & Hove Albion can become the first team to beat Manchester United in five consecutive league games since Norwich City did so between 1988 and 1990. The Red Devils’ four defeats in six Premier League visits to Brighton leaves them with a loss rate of 67%, their highest against any side in the competition.
  • Brighton & Hove Albion’s only win in nine league games was 1-0 at home to Aston Villa at the start of the month (D3 L5). On the other hand, Manchester United have only taken two points from their last five away league games.
  • Manchester United have lost 16 Premier League away fixtures under Erik ten Hag, one more than they have won.
  • Brighton & Hove Albion have scored just 17 times in their 18 league matches in 2024, with only Everton netting fewer goals since the turn of the year.
  • Pascal Gross has scored four goals in his last three league meetings with Manchester United.

Player to Watch

Amad Diallo

Embed from Getty Images

Marcus Rashford was a candidate for this section as he recently returned to action from a recent injury layoff. However, we have picked Amad Diallo after his impressive performance against Newcastle United in Manchester United’s final home game of the 2023/24 season.

The Ivory Coast international has endured a frustrating stint since arriving from Atalanta, constantly battling to earn a spot in the starting lineup. His goal earlier this week might have handed him a place on the team for Sunday’s game. Another game-changing display can help Diallo end the Premier League campaign on a high while possibly etching his name for the side to face Manchester City in the FA Cup final.


Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Manchester United

The match pits two teams that have been dreadful in 2024 thus far. While Brighton & Hove Albion have struggled to find the back of the net or rack up wins, Manchester United have raked in only two points in their last five matches on the road. So, Sunday’s match will be a battle of two sub-par matches.

Brighton & Hove Albion will take heart from their incredible Premier League winning run against Manchester United. However, the four-match streak will end on Sunday, with Amad Diallo and Bruno Fernandes inspiring a rare away win for Manchester United. The Hard Tackle predicts Erik ten Hag and his charges to eke out a narrow 2-1 win on Sunday.

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