Match Preview: Man United Open Premier League Season With Home Game Against ‘Banana Peel’ Brighton

Match Preview: Man United Open Premier League Season With Home Game Against ‘Banana Peel’ Brighton

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:08 PM
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  • Erik ten Hag takes charge of his first Premier League game as he leads his Manchester United charges out on Sunday - hosting Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford
  • The Dutch manager supervised a fairly positive pre-season preparation which was overshadowed by Ronaldo's transfer speculations
  • New signing Christian Eriksen could feature in Man United's opening league encounter against the Seagulls

Manchester United will open their 2022-23 Premier League chapter against a tricky opponent in Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday, August 7.

The Red Devils will look to build on a positive pre-season under new manager Erik ten Hag, winning three, drawing twice and losing the other.

Despite the fairly positive on-the-field results, United's pre-season has been clouded by the uncertainty surrounding the future of superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Man United, Ronaldo, Erik Ten Hag
Manchester United player celebrating after scoring in a pre-season preparatory match. Photo credit: @ManUtd
Source: Twitter

But manager Erik Ten Hag will look to kick start life in the Old Trafford hot seat against a Brighton side which walloped United in last season's final round of games.

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Brighton on the other side have won their first league away fixture in the last three seasons and will want to keep the record intact when they cross swords with United this afternoon.

United boss Ten Hag is keen on starting right in his Premier League debut: "I think we have to look forward to the first game and the approach has to be, we want to win every game. So, let's start Sunday."

Graham Potter, Brighton manager, on the other hand, eulogized Erik Ten Hag ahead of the big clash.

"I think he’s a fantastic coach, he’s had a great experience and time in Ajax, did a really good job, I really enjoyed his team. So I’m sure he’s ready for the next step.
"He’ll be looking forward to the game and it will be a positive atmosphere at Old Trafford, so we have to deal with that and be ready to face that challenge.
"They’re on the back of a disappointing season from their perspective, even though they still finished in the top six – so it shows you the quality they have still even in a disappointing season."

Team News

Manchester United

Frenchman and arguably, United's 'best player' in pre-season Anthony Martial’s last-gasp injury rules him out of the season opener against Brighton.

His absence could mean either a half-fit Cristiano Ronaldo or Marcus Rashford will start up front for United.

New signing Christian Eriksen won’t likely start after only joining recently. Lisandro Martinez could start in defence or midfield, with Harry Maguire the player to line up in defence if it’s the latter.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Solly March should start on the left after Marc Cucurella joined Premier League rivals, Chelsea, on the eve of the season.

Jakub Moder is the only injury absentee for the Seagulls but Graham Potter has often switched up his system from a back three to a four, so an extra midfield face could start this game.

Predicted line-ups:

Manchester United (4-2-3-1)

De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo

Brighton (4-2-3-1)

Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Webster, Solly March; Mwepu, Caicedo; Gross, Trossard, Mac Allister; Welbeck

Players to watch

In the absence of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and wantaway star Ronaldo will be expected to propel United to an opening day win to preserve their enviable record of never losing an opening home game - winning 10 of their last 13 Premier League opening fixtures.

Belgian midfielder Leandro Trossard, who notched a hattrick in Brighton's final pre-season game, will be the man to watch for Brighton with Danny Welbeck looking to bite the hands that used to feed him.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.
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