Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 10/11
Looking to spring a real upset on Saturday lunchtime, Brighton will welcome Manchester United to an empty Amex this weekend.
Starting with the hosts, while on paper Brighton might have opened the New Year with a 3-1 defeat against Champions League outfit Chelsea, they asked a string of questions at the Amex and the mood in their camp appears to be at a real high. Really appearing to find their feet under Graham Potter, the South Coast outfit once again put in an eye-catching display while on EFL Cup duties in midweek. Along with picking up their first Premier League victory of the 2020/2021 campaign thanks to a very impressive 3-0 romp away at St. James’ Park last weekend, the one-time Swansea boss saw his side land a 2-0 victory away at Championship side Preston on Wednesday night. Now winning each of their last three matchups on the bounce across all competitions and bagging at least a trio of strikes in all of those outings, Brighton have impressed many with their new-found resolve at the back. In fact, Saturday’s hosts have now gone over 300 minutes without picking the ball out of their own net and have landed three clean sheets on the spin for the first time since October 2018.
Despite limping off against Newcastle last weekend, full-back Tariq Lamptey has been given the green light and is set to start.
However, Yves Bissouma serves the second game of his three-match suspension.
As for the visitors, while a late flurry might have helped Manchester United avoid a real banana skin against Championship outfit Luton on EFL Cup duties earlier in the week, it doesn’t cover what was a worrying display at Old Trafford last weekend. Putting in a performance that has been criticised across the Premier League, the former champions were hit with a 3-1 defeat against Crystal Palace and couldn’t have asked for a tougher start to proceedings. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer undoubtedly calling on an immediate response on the South Coast, the Red Devils should take some solace from what is a rampant record against Saturday’s hosts. Including landing a 3-0 romp when they last made the trip to the Amex back in June, when returning from the enforced break, United have won all three of their last meetings against the Seagulls by an aggregate score of 8-2. It should also be noted after landing a top-four return last season, Solskjaer’s side enjoyed a four-match winning run away from Old Trafford earlier in the summer, a run highlighted by a 2-0 victory against Leicester on the final weekend.
With both players finding the net against Luton in the EFL Cup earlier in the week, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford should lead the line on either flank.
Missing out on their 3-1 defeat against Crystal Palace last weekend, Aaron Wan-Bissaka should be reinstalled at right-back.
Key Factors to Consider
- Including a 3-0 win when they made the trip to the Amex back in June, Manchester United have won each of their last three straight meetings against Brighton.
- Each of the last four meetings between the two sides have seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.
- Brighton have won all three of their last matchups on the bounce and have recorded a trio of clean sheets for the first time since October 2018.
- Manchester United signed off the extended 2019/2020 campaign with four consecutive victories away from Old Trafford.
- Continuing on from last season, Brighton have managed to pick up just a single point over their last five Premier League matchups on home soil.
While Manchester United might be making the trip to the Amex as a leading pick with the bookmakers, the former champions could be in for another tough test, especially after their worrying return to action last weekend. Hit with a shock 3-1 defeat at home against Crystal Palace and with some real animosity around Old Trafford, a high-flying Brighton could prove to be a stern test on Saturday lunchtime. Enjoying a three-match winning run and really clicking in the final third, it should be noted that each of the last four straight meetings between the two sides have seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle. In a contest that should see chances come thick and fast, we’re backing a similar outcome on the South Coast.
Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 10/11
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