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Match Previews

PREVIEW: MANCHESTER UNITED V ALBION

23 November 2017

Brighton & Hove Albion will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to six matches when they take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm.

The Seagulls drew 2-2 with Stoke City on Monday night in front of the television cameras and head into the game against Jose Mourinho’s men off the back of two away wins at West Ham United and Swansea City.

Their opposition ran out 4-1 winners over Newcastle United last Saturday and will be looking to continue their strong home form so far this campaign where they’ve won nine matches out of nine at their home ground in all competitions.

However, a 1-0 defeat to the Champions League to Basel on Wednesday evening was United’s second defeat in three matches.

The match will be Albion's first visit to Old Trafford since their FA Cup meeting in 1993, when Ryan Giggs scored a free-kick to seal a 1-0 victory for the Red Devils.

TEAM NEWS

Chris Hughton has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday's game at Old Trafford, and he confirmed Steve Sidwell is the only player not currently training with the squad. 

Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Michael Carrick missed Manchester United's trip to Basel on Wednesday.

Centre-backs Jones and Bailly missed last Saturday's win against Newcastle through injury, while Carrick remained sidelined with a calf complaint.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from knee ligament damage off the bench last weekend in the Premier League, as well as against FC Basel, whilst Marcos Rojo returned to the side on Wednesday evening in Switzerland after a long-term injury.

FORM

ALBION:

The Seagulls come into the contest on a good run of form having drawn 2-2 with Stoke City on Monday night at the Amex, twice coming from a goal down to earn a share of the spoils with the Potters. 

Hughton’s men have also won their last two away matches in the league – scoring four goals and keeping two clean sheets in the respective 3-0 and 1-0 wins over West Ham United and Swansea City.

MANCHESTER UNITED:

Jose Mourinho’s men sit second in the table having won all nine of their home matches in all competitions so far this term. But the aforementioned victory over Newcastle United at Old Trafford has been sandwiched in between defeats to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and the loss against Basel during midweek.

Victories in the league this season have included successes over Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Leicester City and West Ham United all without conceding, and the Seagulls therefore head to the north-west looking to be the first side to take something from a game at Old Trafford this season.

LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

ALBION 2
Gross 44
Izquierdo 60

STOKE CITY 2
Choupo-Moting 28
Zouma 45

ALBION: Ryan; Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Bong; Knockaert (Schelotto 82), Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo (March 83); Gross (Brown 83), Murray.

Subs not used: Krul (GK), Hemed, Goldson, Suttner.

LAST TIME OUT: MANCHESTER UNITED


MANCHESTER UNITED 4
Martial 37
Smalling 45
Pogba 54
Lukaku 70

NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
Gayle 14

Manchester United line-up: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young; Matic, Pogba (Fellaini 70), Mata (Herrera 83), Martial (Ibrahimovic 77); Rashford, Lukaku.

Subs not used: Romero (GK), Rojo, Shaw, Lingard.

PLAYER TO WATCH: PAUL POGBA

Jose Mourinho broke the world transfer record in August 2016 when he brought the midfielder from Juventus for £93.2m on a five-year-contract, as the Frenchman returned to the club having left Manchester for Turin in 2012.

The midfielder scored his first goal of the 2017/18 campaign at home to West Ham United on the opening day of the Premier League season, before netting away to Swansea City six days later. 

However, a hamstring injury then kept him out for two months as he limped off during the first half of the side’s 3-0 victory over FC Basel, as he left the ground on crutches later that evening.

But he was re-introduced into the side against Rafael Benitez’s men last weekend and got himself on the scoresheet, netting the third goal in the 4-1 win.


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