Verdict: Under 3.5 goals
Best Odds: 4/7
Looking to make a real European statement on Thursday night, Brighton will welcome Manchester United to the Amex.
Starting with the hosts, making a rampant return to winning ways last weekend, Brighton have only continued to gain a string of plaudits since they welcomed Roberto De Zerbi to the Amex back in September. Eventually breezing past Wolves thanks to a 6-0 romp on the south coast, the Seagulls now have their sights firmly set on clinching a famous European spot over the next few weeks. While the top-six contenders might have been left heartbroken at Wembley on April 23rd as they watched their FA Cup adventure come to an end at the hands of Thursday’s opponents following a heartbreaking penalties defeat, Brighton should be smelling the chance to claim some revenge here. Riding what has been a stellar wave of momentum on either side of March’s international break, it should also be noted that the Seagulls claimed a 2-1 win when they made the trip to Old Trafford for their reverse Premier League showdown on August 8th.
Still dealing with injury issues, Brighton will once again be without the quartet of Evan Ferguson, Adam Lallana, Tariq Lamptey and Jeremy Sarmiento on Thursday night.
Both bagging a brace in last weekend’s 6-0 romp against Wolves the duo of Danny Welbeck and Deniz Undav should spearhead De Zerbi’s attack. Settling for a spot on the bench last time out, midfield talisman Alexis Mac Allister should be handed a full recall.
As for the visitors, while Manchester United might have come under real scrutiny for their collapse away at Tottenham on April 27th, Erik ten Hag’s side found an immediate boost last weekend. Ending Aston Villa’s purple patch as they claimed a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford, the former Ajax boss is calling on his side to find some recent stability. Watching their Europa League adventure come to a stunning end last month as they suffered a 3-0 drumming away at Spanish outfit Sevilla, the former Premier League champions have shown some recent issues away outside of Manchester. Although United might have eventually punched their FA Cup final ticket on April 23rd as they claimed that nail-biting penalties victory against Thursday’s hosts, they have recorded just a single win from their last five appearances away from Old Trafford within 90 minutes. However, still cruising towards an essential top-four return, it should be noted that ten Hag’s men have lost just one of their last nine outings.
Manchester United will travel to the Amex on Thursday night once again without the defensive duo of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane. England international Luke Shaw should once again partner Victor Lindelof at the back.
While Marcus Rashford might have only found the net in two of his last eight appearances across all competitions, the 25-year-old will spearhead United’s attack on the south coast.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides last met on April 23rd for their FA Cup semi-final showdown, Manchester United eventually claimed a penalties victory following a 0-0 stalemate at Wembley.
- However, including a 2-1 win at Old Trafford on the opening weekend, Brighton have secured back-to-back Premier League wins against Manchester United.
- The Red Devils have lost just one of their last eight appearances across all competitions.
- Brighton have suffered just a single Premier League defeat at the Amex since opening 2023.
- Five of Manchester United’s last six appearances away from Old Trafford have finished with under 3.5 goals.
While Manchester United might have handed Brighton FA Cup semi-final heartbreak at Wembley on April 23rd, ten Hag’s side will know that they face another huge challenge on Thursday night. Suffering a 2-1 loss when they welcomed the Seagulls to Old Trafford for their reverse Premier League meeting last year, there is no doubt that the European chasers will be smelling the chance to make a statement here. However, it should be highlighted, with the two sides playing out that 0-0 stalemate when they met in the capital last month, an outcome of under 3.5 goals can be found at generous odds in midweek.
Verdict: Under 3.5 goals
Best Odds: 4/7
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