Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United: Preview and Prediction
Brighton & Hove Albion will take on Manchester United in the second semi-final of the 2022-23 FA Cup. The match will be played at the historic Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday.
Both teams will be high on confidence coming into this match. Manchester United is placed third in the 2022/23 Premier League standings, but more importantly, they have already won a silverware this season. The current EFL League Cup champions will now aim for a domestic cup double.
On the other hand, Brighton has also been playing amazing football this season. The Seagulls are currently placed seventh in the Premier League points table and might be involved in European football next season. They will be hoping to make their first FA Cup final appearance since 1983.
Manchester United has had a brilliant run in the FA Cup so far, as they have sailed through in all of their four matches. They started their campaign with a 3-1 win over Everton, before beating Reading by the same margin.
In the third match, Erik ten Hag’s team took on West Ham United, where they did face a few issues, but three late goals helped them make it to the next round. In the quarter-final, they handed Fulham a 3-1 defeat, thanks to a Bruno Fernandes brace and Marcel Sabitzer strike.
Brighton had to play against second-division team Middlesbrough in their first match, and as expected, they handed their opposition a thumping 5-1 defeat. The second match was the biggest challenge for Roberto De Zerbi’s team, as they took on Liverpool. Despite going down early, the Seagulls came back to win 2-1.
In the third match, another EFL Championship side Stoke City did not let the Seagulls have it easy, but an Evan Ferguson goal helped them win the match by a 1-0 margin. In their last game, Brighton handed League Two side Grimsby Town a 5-0 thrashing.
Head to Head Record
Manchester United holds the upper hand when it comes to head-to-head records. These two teams have met 29 times previously, where the Red Devils have won 19 games. Brighton has won only five games, while the other five matches ended in draws.
The last meeting, which was back in August in the Premier League, resulted in a 2-1 win for Brighton. Pascal Gross scored a brace for the Seagulls, whereas for ten Hag’s side, Argentine midfielder Alexis Mac Allister netted an own goal.
De Zerbi will have to deal with many absentees, the latest of which are Ferguson and Joel Veltman. Besides that, Adam Lallana, Jeremy Sarmiento and Tariq Lamptey are also nursing injuries. However, first-choice goalkeeper Jason Steele could be back after recovering from a knock.
The Italian tactician could field Gross as the right-back, with Pervis Estupinan on the opposite flank. Mac Allister could form a double pivot with Moises Caicedo, whereas after scoring a stunner in the last match against Chelsea, Julio Enciso should also find a place in the team. In the absence of Ferguson, Danny Welbeck could be Brighton’s lone striker.
On a similar note, ten Hag will also miss many of his key players. Lisandro Martinez, Donny van de Beek, Raphael Varane, Tom Heaton, Phil Jones, and Alejandro Garnacho are all out, whereas given that he is recovering from a knock, Scott McTominay might not be rushed into this fixture.
With both first-choice central defenders out injured, the old duo of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are likely to be back. Casemiro and Christian Erikson could form a midfield pivot, while Anthony Martial could play up front with Marcus Rashford on the right flank.
Brighton & Hove Albion (4-2-3-1): Jason Steele; Pascal Gross, Lewis Dunk ©, Adam Webster, Pervis Estupinan; Alexis Mac Allister, Moises Caicedo; Solly March, Julio Enciso, Kaoru Mitoma; Danny Welbeck.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire ©, Luke Shaw; Casemiro, Christian Eriksen; Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford; Anthony Martial.
Through Brighton won the last match against Manchester United, the Red Devils have the edge when it comes to squad strength on paper, with the likes of Bruno and Rashford in great form.