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Match Previews

PREVIEW: MANCHESTER UNITED V ALBION

15 March 2018

Kieran Cleeves
Albion travel to Old Trafford on Saturday for an Emirates FA Cup quarter-final.

Brighton & Hove Albion will look to book their place in the semi-finals of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday evening, when they take on Manchester United at Old Trafford, kick-off 7.45pm.

Albion’s seven-match unbeaten run came to an end last weekend against Everton in the Premier League, however Chris Hughton’s team have shown fine form in the FA Cup so far this season.

Victories over Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and Coventry City led into this weekend’s final-eight clash against Jose Mourinho’s team, and the Red Devils boss will be looking for a reaction after being knocked out of the Champions League in midweek.

The hosts came out on top in the Premier League fixture between the sides back in November, however Albion produced an impressive display, despite Ashley Young’s deflected long-range effort.

Saturday’s match will be decided on the night, with no extra time and penalties needed if necessary, as both teams look to secure a semi-final date at Wembley Stadium next month.


TEAM NEWS:

Hughton confirmed Dale Stephens and Gaetan Bong are both touch-and-go for Saturday's match at Old Trafford, and is hopeful the pair may train on Friday.

Anthony Knockaert will serve the first game of his three-match suspension, while Steve Sidwell (back and ankle) remains the only other absenteee for the Seagulls.

Mourinho is likely to have Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial available for selection, after the pair returned for United’s midweek clash with Sevilla, after missing last weekend’s game against Liverpool.

Marcos Rojo (knock) and Ander Herrera (thigh) are hopeful of being fit for the game, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee), Phil Jones (knock) and Daley Blind (ankle) all remain sidelined.




PREMIER LEAGUE MEETING:

Albion were beaten in their first visit to Old Trafford in over 24 years back in November, as Young’s shot from distance took a wicked deflection off Lewis Dunk before finding the top corner to seal a 1-0 win for the hosts.

Despite coming away with no points, Hughton’s team worked tirelessly throughout the match and arguably deserved at least a point - an opinion Mourinho also shared in his post-match press conference.

The players received a warm reception from the packed away end after the game, as Albion’s supporters and players showed their appreciation toward each other after an exhausting battle at Old Trafford.


FORM:

The Seagulls were beaten 2-0 by Everton at Goodison Park last time out, but Hughton’s side had previously strung together a run of seven successive matches without defeat.

The run included a 1-0 success over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in the FA Cup, and also a fifth-round triumph against Coventry City at the Amex Stadium, as Albion sealed a comfortable 3-1 win.

Albion’s three-game winning streak at the Amex also features a 3-1 win against West Ham United, a convincing 4-1 victory against Swansea City and an eye-catching 2-1 win over Arsenal at the beginning of March.

United have been in good form in the Premier League, winning a hat-trick of games against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Liverpool - but Sevilla knocked Mourinho’s men out of the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The defeat was only their second at Old Trafford this season, adding to their 2-1 loss to Manchester City back in December.

The Red Devils have beaten Derby County, Yeovil Town and Huddersfield Town en route to the final eight, and will be looking to win their 13th FA Cup in the club’s history this season.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

EVERTON 2
Bong (OG) 60
Tosun 76

ALBION 0

Albion line-up: Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong (Suttner 82); Knockaert, Propper, Kayal (Locadia 69), Izquierdo; Gross, Murray (Ulloa 77).

Subs not used: Krul (GK), Goldson, Bruno, March.


LAST TIME OUT: MANCHESTER UNITED



MANCHESTER UNITED 1
Lukaku 84

SEVILLA 2
Ben Yedder 74, 78

Manchester United line-up: De Gea; Valencia (Mata 77), Bailly, Smalling, Young; Matic, Fellaini (Pogba 60); Lingard (Martial 77), Alexis, Rashford; Lukaku.

Subs not used: Romero (GK), Lindelof, Darmian, McTominay.




PLAYER TO WATCH: Marcus Rashford

After starting regularly for United towards the start of the season, Rashford has been used as a substitute in recent weeks, but the forward sent out a big message against Liverpool at Old Trafford last weekend.

The 20-year-old was handed his first league start in nine matches against the Reds, and he wasted no time in making a difference against United’s bitter rivals, finding the back of the net twice inside the opening 24 minutes.

His 12 goals in all competitions this season include a strike against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup fourth round at Huish Park, and also three goals in the Champions League group stages.

Rashford made quite an impact on his Premier League debut back in 2016, scoring twice against Arsenal in a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford, before scoring the winner against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.


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