Brighton & Hove Albion will look to end Manchester United’s six-game winning streak when they visit Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League, kick-off 3pm.
The Red Devils have won every game since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at the helm — becoming the only manager in United history to win his first six matches in charge.
But Chris Hughton’s team can take confidence from their 3-2 victory over Saturday’s opponents at the Amex Stadium back in August, and also their encouraging displays at Old Trafford last season.
The Seagulls were narrowly beaten last time out against Premier League leaders Liverpool, while Solskjaer’s side secured a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.
Hughton confirmed that Yves Bissouma is a doubt ahead of their trip to Old Trafford, and the Malian's involvement depends on whether he trains with the squad of Friday.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Maty Ryan are both away at the Asian Cup, while Bernardo (hamstring) and Jose Izquierdo (knee) will both miss the game through injury.
For United, Alexis Sanchez (hamstring) and Chris Smalling (foot) are both doubtful for Saturday’s game, while Marcus Rojo continues his recovery from injury and will miss the match.
The Seagulls strung together four unbeaten matches before their slim defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders last weekend, a game only decided by a penalty kick.
Albion secured a point against Arsenal on Boxing Day before taking all three points against Everton a few days later, as Jurgen Locadia struck the winning goal on the south coast.
A 2-2 draw at West Ham United followed, after taking a 2-0 lead against the Hammers, and Hughton’s men then secured their place in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth.
The Red Devils have been in inspired form under the guidance of fans’ favourite Solskjaer, playing attractive, attacking football in his opening six matches in charge.
An emphatic 5-1 victory at Cardiff City kicked off the Norwegian’s reign, which was then followed by comfortable successes against Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth.
Away victories to Newcastle United and Tottenham came either side of a 2-0 win against Reading in the FA Cup, as the Manchester club recorded three consecutive clean sheets.
LAST TIME WE MET
After sealing Premier League survival with a 1-0 win over United in their final home match of the 2017/18 season, the Seagulls recorded another victory over the Red Devils in their opening match at the Amex this season.
Glenn Murray broke the deadlock with a classy finish in the 25th minute, before Shane Duffy powered home a second for Hughton’s side to give them a two-goal cushion before the half-hour mark.
Romelu Lukaku halved the deficit in the 34th minute, but Pascal Gross restored Albion’s comfortable advantage from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time.
Albion defended well to protect their lead in the second half, and despite a stoppage-time penalty from Paul Pogba, maximum points remained on the south coast after the final whistle was blown.
LAST TIME OUT: ALBION
Salah 50 pen
Albion line-up: Button; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Stephens, Propper, Gross (Kayal 79); March (Knockaert 66), Murray (Andone 66), Locadia.
Subs not used: Steele (GK), Balogun, Bruno, Sanders.
LAST TIME OUT: MANCHESTER UNITED
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0
MANCHESTER UNITED 1
Manchester United line-up: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Matic, Pogba (McTominay 90+2), Herrera; Martial (Lukaku 73), Rashford, Lingard (Dalot 83).
Subs not used: Romero (GK), Pereira, Fred, Mata.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Paul Pogba
The French midfielder has been in excellent form since Solskjaer returned to Old Trafford, scoring four goals and claiming four assists in his last five Premier League outings.
Pogba fired doubles against Huddersfield and Bournemouth in consecutive matches, contributing towards the 15 goals United have scored in the same time they’ve accumulated as many points.
Not only does the World Cup winner cover a lot of ground, his creativity in recent matches has been imperative to his team’s impressive form, most recently picking out Marcus Rashford with a sublime pass for the striker’s goal against Spurs.
SIR MATT BUSBY TRIBUTE
Albion fans are asked to join their Manchester United counterparts in a minute’s applause in tributes to Red Devils legend Sir Matt Busby, to mark 25 years since his passing.
Busby led United to their first European Cup success, having survived the Munich air crash ten years earlier. This week United unveiled a mural above the statue of Busby which stands outside Old Trafford.
Alongside Sir Alex Ferguson, Busby is regarded as one of club’s and football’s best-ever coaches. He won five First Division titles in addition to the European triumph.