Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 4/5
With Saturday’s drama still firmly in the minds of many, Brighton and Manchester United will once again meet at the Amex on Wednesday night when they turn their attention to EFL Cup duties.
Starting with the hosts, left heartbroken after seeing what appeared to be Solly March’s last-gasp equaliser ruled out in the most dramatic of fashion over the weekend, Brighton know they fully deserved something to show for themselves on Saturday. Hitting the woodwork five times on the South Coast, the most by a Premier League side in a single matchup, the Seagulls asked United a string of questions and have impressed many since opening the New Year. While they might have collected just a single victory from their opening three top-flight appearances this season, they did land a very impressive 3-0 romp away at St. James Park last week and Brighton appear to have found a real edge in the final third. While he might have eventually given away that controversial penalty on Saturday lunchtime, it could be worth keeping an eye out for leading marksman, Neal Maupay. Finding the net against Wednesday’s guests over the weekend, the former Brentford striker has bagged three Premier League goals in back-to-back appearances.
Brighton are still without the suspended Yves Bissouma, while Jose Izquierdo and Florin Andone remain sidelined through injury.
After featuring in the last round, Potter could also recall summer arrival Joel Veltman at full-back.
As for the visitors, while on paper Manchester United might have managed to just about leave the South Coast with all three points over the weekend, it doesn’t cover what was another hugely concerning performance from the former champions. Largely outplayed and Head Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the first to admit that his side were second-best at the Amex, there really appears to be some growing animosity around Old Trafford after what has been a quiet summer transfer window. Watching Sevilla end their Europa League adventure out in Germany last month, the Reds also couldn’t have opened the 2020/2021 campaign in more concerning fashion. Once again showing a string of issues at the back, United marked their Premier League return with a shock 3-1 defeat at home against Crystal Palace earlier in the month. While Wednesday’s guests might have now won each of their last four straight meetings against the Seagulls, Solskjaer will be calling on a far more polished display from his altered squad.
Making 10 changes for their trip to Luton last week, the likes of Fred, Jesse Lingard and summer arrival Donny van de Beek all look set for a recall on Thursday night.
Elsewhere, Odion Ighalo will likely lead the line, handing Anthony Martial a rest.
Key Factors to Consider
- Picking up the stunning 3-2 win at the Amex on Saturday, Manchester United also managed to land their fourth straight victory against the South Coast outfit.
- Including finding the net over the weekend, Marcus Rashford has scored three goals in his last four meetings against Brighton.
- Seagulls striker Neal Maupay has recorded three goals in back-to-back Premier League appearances.
- Four of Brighton’s five competitive matchups so far this season have seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.
- Likewise, each of the last five meetings between Wednesday’s opponents have seen over 2.5 goals.
On paper, neutrals from up and down the county will simply be hoping for a repeat of Saturday’s drama-filled contest. While Manchester United might have managed to leave the Amex with all three points, the former champions have only continued to show a string of rather glaring problems at the back. Watching Brighton hit the woodwork five times, a Premier League record, the two sides do have a habit of producing fireworks. With each of the last five straight contests between Brighton and Manchester United seeing over 2.5 goals by the final whistle, we’re back a similar outcome on the South Coast.
Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 4/5
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