Monday, November 18, 2019

Prediction: Manchester United vs Brighton

Verdict: Marcus Rashford to score anytime 

Best Odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to make it six top-flight wins on the bounce, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side will welcome Brighton to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, with their 1-0 win at Tottenham last weekend seeing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer equal Sir Matt Busby’s winning start to life at Old Trafford, few would have expected Manchester United’s resurge. Booking their spot in the fourth round of this year’s FA Cup and now winning all five of their Premier League matches under the Norweigan legend, the Reds sit level on points with Arsenal and their top-four dreams might still be alive and well. With Solskjaer handing United a newfound attacking identity, one man who appears to be relishing his arrival is England international Marcus Rashford. Now playing in a more central role, the 21-year-old has now bagged three goals in his last three top-flight appearances. Along with looking a constant threat in the final third, Solskjaer has also gained a long list of admirers for his ability to plug United’s defensive issues. The Reds have now recorded three consecutive clean sheets across all competitions and are yet to concede a goal in 2019.

Team News

Alexis Sanchez is expected to be fit to face Brighton following a minor injury.

Eric Bailly is available after suspension but Marouane Fellaini has a calf injury and joins Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo on the sidelines.

Brighton

As for the visitors, while Chris Hughton’s side may have put up an admirable display against league leaders Liverpool last weekend, Brighton did see their four-match unbeaten run come to an end courtesy of a 1-0 defeat. Although they might sit four points adrift of the top half of the table, it will be Brighton’s well publicised issues away from the Amex giving Hughton the biggest headache. The Seagulls have remarkably won just two Premier League away matches since November 2017, a 24 match run. More worrying, Saturday’s visitors have lost 19 of those outings, the worst record in England’s top-tier. Along with their struggles away from the South Coast, Brighton historically do not enjoy their visits to Old Trafford. Hughton’s side have never managed to record a victory on their travels to Manchester in the 10 previous meetings between the two sides.

Team News

Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma will be assessed, having missed last weekend’s defeat by Liverpool with a hip problem.

Left-back Bernardo and winger Jose Izquierdo remain absent with hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

Key Factors to Consider

  • United have never lost at home to Brighton (W8, D2) and have won the last four meetings at Old Trafford without conceding.
  • Marcus Rashford has now scored in each of his last three Premier League matches.
  • United could score three goals or more in in four consecutive home league games for the first time since September 2011.
  • They have kept consecutive clean sheets, as many as they managed in the first 20 league games this season.
  • Brighton have won just two of their last 24 Premier League matches away from the Amex.

Conclusion

On paper, Solskjaer should see this as a perfect opportunity to extend his winning run at Old Trafford. Given Marcus Rashford’s goal-scoring exploits entering the New Year, coupled with Brighton’s public struggles at the back, we’re backing the England forward to once again find the net on Saturday afternoon.

Verdict: Marcus Rashford to score anytime 

Best Odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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