Big Match Breakdown: Brighton & Hove Albion v Man United
Mourinho’s men looking to sew up second spot
Manchester United travel to Brighton & Hove Albion tonight, with Jose Mourinho’s men looking to rubber-stamp second place in the Premier League.
The Seagulls will be eyeing up revenge, having lost both of this season’s two prior meetings. And a home victory would lift Brighton up to 11th place.
Ahead of kick-off, the Coral News Team have all the key info with another Big Match Breakdown…
The Red Devils have firmly had the upper hand in this fixture. They’ve won 12 of the previous 18 clashes, drawing five and losing just once – way back in 1982.
Both of this season’s head-to-heads have ended with United wins at Old Trafford. However, the Seagulls could easily have taken a point from November’s 1-0 loss.
The most famous games between these sides came in the 1983 FA Cup Final. The pair played out a thrilling 2-2 draw under old Wembley’s Twin Towers, before Ron Atkinson’s United breezed to a 4-0 victory in the replay.
Chris Hughton has Davy Propper back from suspension, and the Dutchman is likely to partner Dale Stephens in a holding midfield role.
The Seagulls have a pretty consistent starting XI, especially at the back. So there’s little chance Hughton will deviate from the quartet of Gaetan Bong, Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk and Bruno.
For United, Romelu Lukaku’s injury frees a spot for Anthony Martial. Meanwhile, Mourinho made his admiration for Scott McTominay clear at the club’s End of Season Awards, and the Scot is likely to start alongside Nemanja Matic in midfield.
The visitors have Paul Pogba in superb form. The Frenchman produced a talismanic display in the 3-2 win at Manchester City, and pulled the strings in last weekend’s defeat of Arsenal. Brighton’s holding midfield pair have their work cut out to marshal him.
Mourinho’s men tend to be susceptible on set-pieces, and face one of the division’s best target men in the form of Glenn Murray. The likes of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof need to make sure he’s kept quiet on dead-ball situations.
In the match betting, Man United are 7/10 favourites. It’s 27/10 for honours-even, while Brighton are 4/1 to secure a first win over United in more than 35 years.
The Sussex outfit have failed to score in four of their last seven games. And they’re up against a United side who’ve shipped a Scrooge-like five in their previous seven. It’s 7/4 for United to Win to Nil, while Both Teams to Score – No is a 20/23 shot.
Mourinho’s charges have enjoyed seven 2-0 wins already in 2018. And another 2-0 Red Devils victory at the AMEX Stadium is priced at 7/1. Meanwhile, it’s 19/10 for the United -1 handicap.
Having chalked up three goals in his last five outings, Paul Pogba is 23/10 to Score Anytime.
On paper, Brighton are up against a tough backline. But if anyone can break United down, it’s Murray. The veteran hitman is 7/4 to find the net tonight.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing