Manchester United will be desperate to get their first Premier League points on the board when they travel away to Brighton & Hove Albion in Saturday’s early kickoff.
The Red Devils were stunned 3-1 at home by Crystal Palace in their league opener last weekend, with Wilfried Zaha putting on a masterclass to down his previous employers.
Things may get worse before they get better for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, as they must take on a Brighton outfit who were impressive as they dispatched Newcastle United away last weekend.
Brighton vs Manchester United: The form guide
The Seagulls were outstanding as they downed Newcastle 2-0 in game week two, a victory which was all the more impressive considering the Magpies’ own opening-day victory over West Ham United.
Brighton were arguably unfortunate not to have taken more points from their opening clash—against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea—as they held their own for long periods before finally falling to a 3-1 defeat.
Up against another one of the league’s big dogs on Saturday, can they take the lessons learned from the Chelsea game into this contest?
Both of these two sides dispatched Championship opposition in the Carabao Cup in midweek, although United will find things much tougher at the Amex than they did as Luton Town were thumped 3-0.
Brighton vs Manchester United: The team news
The hosts will be missing Yves Bissouma following his mindless kick to Jamal Lewis’s face in the victory over Newcastle on Monday, with the Mali midfielder receiving a red card for the reckless moment.
It remains to be seen whether the impressive Tariq Lamptey will return to action following a minor injury he picked up against the Magpies, while Aaron Connolly is also in doubt.
Florin Andone and Jose Izquierdo are both absent for the hosts.
United may risk being short at the back, where Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe are both out with injury, and while Chris Smalling is fit, he won’t feature as a permanent move away from the club draws nearer.
Dean Henderson played against Luton in midweek, and kept a clean sheet, although expect David De Gea to return between the sticks…despite his difficulties against Palace.
Brighton vs Manchester United: Key facts & stats
Brighton will be desperate to make amends against United having lost the corresponding match between the two sides 3-0 last term.
Before that, they had a decent record against the Red Devils at home—winning their previous three—although United have won all three of the last league games between the pair.
This calendar year, with fans largely absent, Brighton haven’t been at their best at home. Excluding a victory against Arsenal in June, they’re winless on the south coast, and have been found wanting at the back when teams have come to visit.
Worryingly, United have looked rampant away from home recently, winning their last four Prem games with an aggregate scoreline of 10-0.
Had it not been for last week’s 3-1 defeat by Palace, United would appear overwhelming favourites, but that poor performance will have given Graham Potter hope.
Brighton vs Manchester United: Prediction
On paper, United have the quality—and the firepower—to take all three points from the south coast, but their vulnerabilities were laid bare against Palace, and they know they must improve in order to take all three points.
Brighton, by contrast, could have taken a point from their opener against Chelsea, and will be buoyed by their triumph over Newcastle.
They’re a well-drilled and adventurous unit under Potter, with their 3-5-2 formation representing a formidable challenge for opponents.
Don’t be surprised if the Seagulls can pull off an upset against Solskjaer and co, although the suspended Bissouma will be a loss, and we're tipping United to pick up their first win of the season in Saturday's early kickoff.