There is one match in the Premier League on Tuesday evening as Manchester United host Brighton and Hove Albion in a rearranged game after the original meeting was cancelled because of Covid prior to Christmas.
This is a big match for Manchester United as a win will move them back over West Ham and into fourth place in the table but a win for Brighton here would have them dreaming of European football next term, which would be quite some effort. Surprisingly there is no UK TV coverage of this match.
There is an awful lot of doom and gloom around Manchester United at the minute and while there is no getting away from the fact that they are not playing well, they have only lost one of their last 12 matches and that was away to Wolves which isn’t exactly the worst result in the world. Admittedly it hasn’t been convincing but sometimes some of the ridicule gets exaggerated because it is Manchester United. A win here moves them into the top four which even at the start of the season was all they could have realistically hoped for.
Although the results are coming I think most fans would expect United to put more sides to the swords especially at home and until that is the case then there will be some discontent. I suspect the bigger problem is the perception that as a club there is no long-term plan and even the short-term ones seemed to get ripped apart in the summer when they went for commercial signings rather than ones which made footballing sense. United could do with a big, convincing victories soon.
Brighton and Hove Albion
It is crazy to think that even though they sit ninth in the table, which is an incredible achievement in itself when you consider how they have flirted with the drop zone after the last few seasons, I actually think they are going under the radar. They have only lost one of their last 11 matches and while they would probably agree seven draws in that run is too many, when you consider how hard Premier League wins are to come by it is certainly no mean effort.
The big problem for the Seagulls is finding the back of the net. They create a barrel load of chances but can’t seem to convert enough of them but it is probably telling that the last three times they have scored more than one in a match they have won that particular encounter. That is because they keep control of the ball and ease the pressure on their defence so if they can find a way of getting the ball in the back of the net more regularly this is a team who can go places.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH 888SPORT AND BET £10 TO GET £30 IN FREE BETS PLUS A £10 CASINO BONUS! PERFECT OFFER TO USE ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN. USE CODE 30F. NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. 18+ T&Cs apply (See image for significant terms). Gamble Aware.
Manchester United are said to have no new injury issues going into this match but could have Fred back available to them after he has completed his Covid-19 isolation period. Nemanja Matic is a doubt with a shin injury while Mason Greenwood is still unavailable pending the investigations into his conduct.
Brighton and Hove Albion boss Graham Potter is said to have the same squad at his disposal as the one he used in the win over Watford at the weekend. Enock Mwepu is unavailable while the likes of Alexis Mac Allister and Yves Bissouma could return having started that match on Saturday on the bench.
I’m not convinced things are as bad as they seem for Manchester United although admittedly they are not holding onto leads as well as they would want to but they have actually taken the lead in each of their last six matches in all competitions, four of those times doing so in the first half where they have led at half time before fading in the second period. That suggests to me that Ralf Rangnick is getting his players up for the match but they are caught in limbo when sides come at the in the second period, with the German perhaps not having the quality of resource to change a match back in their favour.
I do like Manchester United on the first half Asian handicap here though. Generally when Brighton go up against the bigger sides they start slowly but have an ability to hang in the game. They have had four matches against the top three this season and trailed at half time in each of them before rescuing a point in the second period. The same thing happened when they played West Ham so it is a trend that has gone on all season. With United generally fast starters and Brighton doing their better work in the second period I’ll take the home side to lead at half time on the Asian lines with the caveat of some draw cover.
Back Manchester United (-0.25 First Half AH) to beat Brighton & Hove Albion for a 3/10 stake at 1.95 with Bet365