Manchester United will look to gain some momentum following a disastrous midweek defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League, as they host Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup this weekend.
United head coach Jose Mourinho received a lot of criticism on the wake of their unexpected defeat to Sevilla this midweek, which knocked them out of the Champions League and the Portuguese could be deep trouble should the Red Devils get overwhelmed by Brighton this weekend.
The Seagulls, on the other hand, are coming on the back of a positive stretch, where they have lost only once in their last five matches in all competitions. Currently sitting 11th in the league table, a win this weekend would be massive for them in terms of a trophy hunt.
Manchester United will be without the services of midfielders Ander Herrera and Daley Blind while Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo also remain on the sidelines. Elsewhere, star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also expected to miss the clash. Head coach Jose Mourinho will want to ring in the changes this weekend following a disappointing display against Sevilla in the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho may be urged to go back to his 4-3-3 formation, especially after their struggle in executing the customary 4-2-3-1 against the Spanish outfit this midweek. Therefore, Paul Pogba might make a strong case to start the game along with youngster Scott McTominay.
Sergio Romero should replace David de Gea in between the sticks for Manchester United this weekend. The Argentine will be looking to uphold Man United’s impressive record of keeping five clean sheets in their last seven FA Cup games.
Antonio Valencia should be one of the players to retain their spot in the starting lineup this weekend. The Ecuador international will be tasked with the responsibility of leading this relatively young Manchester United backline against a sharp attacking Brighton side.
New signing Victor Lindelof should replace Chris Smalling. The Swedish international is yet to hit the ground running in his debut season in England but an impressive performance against the Seagulls could definitely lift his confidence.
Partnering Victor Lindelof in central defence should be Eric Bailly. The Ivorian has been somewhat of a mainstay in the United backline this season and is expected to remain a key figure for the coming years.
Luke Shaw will be hoping to get back into the starting lineup this weekend, replacing Ashley Young. Shaw has been a bit of a hit and miss for Manchester United since his return from injury and will be looking to impress this weekend.
Youngster Scott McTominay should be given a berth in the starting XI after missing the clash against Sevilla in midweek. The Scot will be important as the hosts look to dominate the midfield.
Veteran midfielder Michael Carrick should be handed a start against Brighton. FA Cup might be the last chance for Carrick to earn a silverware before hanging up his boots at the end of this season.
Nemanja Matic’s presence in the Manchester United midfield has been very instrumental in their success this season. The former Chelsea midfielder has the quality to prevail in Jose Mourinho’s defence-oriented system but it will be interesting to see how he fares against the highly disciplined Brighton this weekend.
After coming on as a substitute for Antonio Valencia this weekend, Juan Mata could be handed a place in the starting lineup against Brighton. The Spaniard hasn’t been a regular for United in recent months but this will be his opportunity to show exactly what he’s capable of.
Romelu Lukaku will lead the line for the Red Devils this weekend. The Belgian scored the only goal in United’s 2-1 defeat against Sevilla. His physical presence will be key as the hosts look to unlock the highly disciplined Seagulls defence.
Anthony Martial could replace Marcus Rashford on the left flank, meaning Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez could be handed a rest this weekend. Martial’s trickery and pace will definitely be useful for the home side in the final third.
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