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Big Match Breakdown: Brighton v Man United

Cian Carroll | 19 August 2018

Match preview, odds and tips

Manchester United will be looking to make it back-to-back Premier League wins when they take on Brighton and Hove Albion today.

Jose Mourinho takes his troops to the Amex Stadium looking to build on their 2-1 win over Leicester City. Chris Hughton’s Seagulls will be looking to get some points on the board after their 2-0 defeat to Watford on the opening day.

You can catch all the action live from 4:00pm live on Sky Sports Main Event. But ahead of the clash, the Coral News Team have you sorted with a Big Match Breakdown.

Head-to-Head

Brighton actually beat Man United in this fixture at the tail-end of last season. Hughton’s side were hugely impressive that night and will be confident of another decent showing here.

In fact, the East Sussex outfit also beat the Red Devils in the previous encounter on home soil, way back in 1982.

Overall, however, United have the superior record, winning 12 of the 17 previous meetings. But the majority of them have come at Old Trafford.

Likely XIs

Mourinho will be without Diogo Dalot, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera and Sergio Romero. And although Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia are back in training, this weekend’s game will come too soon for them.

However, Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba should play significant roles at one stage or another. Expect United to line up in a 4-3-3 with Andreas Pereira starting in central midfield alongside Pogba and Fred.

For Brighton, Hughton will probably go with a 4-4-1-1 with Pascal Gross behind Glenn Murray up top.

Key Battles

The two sides generally set-up in a manner that makes them difficult to break down. So expect this to be a tight, war of attrition, rather than a free-flowing game.

Surprisingly, the Seagulls conceded 23 goals from set-pieces last season. Only Watford conceded more.

Mourinho will be well aware of that statistic. And it would be of no surprise if Fellaini was introduced at some point if a goal is needed.

Hughton will want to avoid losing two on the bounce so will welcome a point. Expect his side to sit in a low block, and soak up what United throw at them.

Match Odds

Brighton are 4/1 outsiders, with United available at 3/4. You can back the draw at 23/10.

It’s difficult to know which side is in better shape so early in the season. But United most definitely have the greater quality in their ranks.

And although they lost here last season, that was after already sewing up second and having little to play for. Motivation is reasonably high in the early part of the campaign and Mourinho’s side look good for the win.

Will it be tight at the Amex? The correct score 1-0 to Man United is 17/4. Pogba and Fellaini – with their height – will be dangerous at set-pieces for United.

The French star is 11/4 to notch Anytime while the Belgium international is 16/5.