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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ALBION V MANCHESTER UNITED

2 May 2018

Kieran Cleeves
Albion welcome Manchester United to the Amex Stadium on Friday night.

Brighton & Hove Albion welcome Manchester United to the Amex Stadium for their final home game of the season, as Chris Hughton’s team look to secure Premier League safety on Friday evening, kick-off 8pm.

The Seagulls can guarantee their Premier League status for another season with victory over the Red Devils, due to the fact Swansea City and Southampton still have to play each other in the following weeks.

Jose Mourinho’s team are close to securing second position in the Premier League and also have an Emirates FA Cup Final to prepare for, as they meet Chelsea at Wembley Stadium later this month.

Hughton’s men will be looking to build on consecutive draws against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley, as Albion’s supporters get their last chance to show their support at the Amex Stadium.

TEAM NEWS

Davy Propper is available for selection again following a three-match suspension. Steve Sidwell (ankle and back) remains the only long-term absentee.

Romelu Lukaku is a major doubt for Man United after picking up a foot injury in last Sunday's win over Arsenal, while second-choice keeper Sergio Romero is not in contention with a knee problem.



REVERSE FIXTURE:

Albion gave an impressive performance at Old Trafford when the two teams met in the Premier League back in November, but Hughton’s team were narrowly beaten in fortuitous fashion.

Matthew Ryan made a fantastic double save shortly before the break against the Red Devils, denying Romelu Lukaku before saving again from Paul Pogba’s follow-up effort.

But the breakthrough came in the 66th minute when Ashley Young’s long-range effort deflected off Lewis Dunk and looped into the top corner - a cruel moment for Hughton’s team, who performed so well.


FORM:


The Seagulls have recorded back-to-back draws against teams inside the Premier League’s top seven, firstly sharing the spoils with Tottenham Hotspur in a 1-1 draw at the Amex.

A penalty from Pascal Gross quickly cancelled out Harry Kane’s opener on the south coast, and Hughton’s team then followed up their hard-earned point with another at Turf Moor.

Albion shared a goalless draw with Burnley last weekend, and Mathew Ryan was forced into a remarkable save as the Seagulls survived a goalmouth scramble in the first half.

The Red Devils have won consecutive games in the Premier League to bounce back from their disappointing 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion midway through April.

Mourinho’s team beat AFC Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium before sealing a 2-1 victory over Arsenal last time out, thanks to Marouane Fellaini’s 90th-minute winner at Old Trafford.

United also came back from 2-0 down at the Etihad Stadium to win 3-2 against Manchester City - which delayed their coronation as Premier League champions.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION



BURNLEY 0

ALBION 0

Albion line-up: Ryan; Bruno (Schelotto 89), Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Izquierdo (March 85); Gross; Ulloa (Murray 67).

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


LAST TIME OUT: MANCHESTER UNITED



MANCHESTER UNITED 2
Pogba 14
Fellaini 90

ARSENAL 1
Mkhitaryan 50

Manchester United line-up: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Herrara (Martial 63), Matic, Pogba; Lingard (Fellaini 63), Lukaku (Rashford 49), Sanchez.

Subs not used: Pereira (GK), Rojo, McTominay, Mata.




ONE TO WATCH: David de Gea

The Spaniard has a league-leading total of 17 clean sheets in the Premier League so far this season, and is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world at this moment in time.

De Gea has also won the club’s Player of the Season award for the 2017/18 campaign - adding to his wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The 27-year-old has made a number of important saves for the Red Devils this season, helping Mourinho’s men to second in the Premier League and to the Emirates FA Cup Final.


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