After dropping two more crucial points at home to Southampton, Manchester United look to get their faltering push for a top-four place back on track against Graham Potter’s in-form Brighton side.
Harry Maguire’s form has seen the England defender come in for criticism in recent weeks but the £80m man has been backed to weather the storm by United boss Ralf Rangnick. The Red Devils skipper has faced scrutiny for several below-par performances of late, with a section of United supporters claiming that the defender should be dropped and the captaincy taken off him.
Maguire was handed the armband by former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in January 2020, but interim boss Rangnick sees no need to replace Maguire in his starting XI, and insisted that he will stand by his captain ahead of tonight’s clash with Brighton. The Seagulls would move just three points behind Manchester United with a win at Old Trafford.
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Manchester United vs Brighton preview
United’s top-four chances are dwindling and according Arsenal are now strong favourites to pip them to the post according to the bookmakers. Anything other than three points from Tuesday’s clash with Brighton is unfathomable for Red Devils fans but Brighton represent great value at 15/4 to win.
The Seagulls have been strong on their travels this season and Manchester United have forgotten how to keep clean sheets. Brighton have the seventh-best away record in the Premier League with 19 points from 12 games, while United have accrued just one more point from the same number of home fixtures.
Old Trafford is certainly not the fortress it once was and Graham Potter will be confident that his side can score at least once. United’s attack is inconsistent at best. Their tally of 19 goals at home illustrates how far they have fallen behind the likes of Manchester City, who have racked up 34 thus far. Worryingly for Rangnick, talisman Cristiano Ronaldo has not scored for the club since the 3-1 victory over Burnley at the end of December.
The German manager will be counting on the likes of Maguire and Paul Pogba to help get United out of their recent slump, having dropped points to Southampton and Burnley in the past week and missing the opportunity to build a lead over their rivals in the race for fourth place. United’s intimidating upcoming March fixture list includes the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham.
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When does Manchester United vs Brighton kick-off?
The EPL clash between Manchester United & Brighton kicks off at 20:15 GMT on Tuesday, February 15 at Old Trafford, Manchester
Manchester United vs Brighton team news
Manchester United team news vs Brighton
Ralf Rangnick could shuffle his pack slightly to refresh things after the draining 1-1 draw with Southampton. Alex Telles could return to the starting Xl in place of Luke Shaw, whose recent run of poor form continued on Saturday.
Manchester United will have Fred available for selection after a recent positive test for COVID-19, but Nemanja Matic is is struggling with a shin complaint and will not be in the squad.
Edinson Cavani will again be absent due to a groin complaint, while Mason Greenwood and Eric Bailly are definitely out, so the squad will be similar to the one available against Southampton.
Manchester United possible starting XI:
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Pogba, Bruno; Sancho, Rashford, Ronaldo
Brighton team news vs Manchester United
Jeremy Sarmiento and Enock Mwepu remain unavailable through injury, but Brighton are otherwise in excellent shape heading into Tuesday’s contest.
Brighton possible starting XI:
Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Lallana, Bissouma, Moder, Cucurella; Maupay, Welbeck