Manchester United suffered midweek misery in the Champions League after defeat to Basel in Switzerland and this afternoon they will look to bounce back against a Brighton side who have not lost in any of their last five Premier League outings.
United required just a point to secure top spot in Group A of this season’s Champions League and although it was not a vintage performance against the Swiss champions it looked as if it was going to be job done. That was until Michael Lang scored an 89th minute winner meaning that the Red Devils will have to wait until next month to secure group victory.
There is no doubting that the result will have been nothing short of disappointing on Wednesday night but they fared much better on the domestic front last weekend. Newcastle were the visitors and they unfortunately had to deal with a returning Paul Pogba from the start while not forgetting a cameo of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
They were however given an early scare when Dwight Gayle opened the scoring for the visiting Newcastle but that is all it would turn out to be as Jose Mourinho’s men went up through the gears and eventually eased to a 4-1 win at Old Trafford.
The fact that Pogba was back in midfield gave United much more freedom then they had in the past few weeks and they played with the shackles off, something that they have not done while the French international has been absent. His return will give the club a welcome boost as they look to cut down the eight point gap to Manchester City.
Today they play host to a Brighton side whose adjustment to the top flight looks more seamless as the weeks progress, after a slow start in which they failed to get anything from their first three matches they now find themselves in the relative comfort of ninth in the table.
That is testament to their efforts and as mentioned they come into this game having not lost any of their last five matches, that said the fixture computer has been relatively kind to them as of late and the visit to Old Trafford will provide a much sterner test.
However they can only get points against the teams that are put in front of them and that is exactly what they have done as of late. They have picked up nine points from a possible fifteen and Monday night saw them earn another point in front of their own fans.
Twice they went behind to Stoke at The AMEX but twice they managed to pull themselves back into the game with goals from Pascal Gross and Jose Iziquerdo making sure that the Seagulls earned a deserved share of the points on the South Coast.
One player who did not get on the scoresheet at the start of the week was Glenn Murray but there is no understating his contribution as of late, the 34 year forward has scored four goals this season and went on record to say yesterday that he perhaps does not get the credit he deserves because he does not have a fancy French name.
It is fair to say that his efforts have perhaps gone under the radar but if he continues that rich vein of scoring form throughout the season then you can guarantee that the limelight will shine much brighter on the Brighton striker. An England call up, stranger things have happened.
Talking of strange things that would in my opinion be a Brighton win this afternoon, United are ominous at home and I cannot see their unbeaten record coming to an end today. It’s a free hit for Brighton whose fans will enjoy the day out for sure but I think it will be a routine home win.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) November 24, 2017