Manchester United will open their new Premier League campaign against Brighton at Old Trafford on Sunday, as new manager Erik ten Hag aims for a winning start.
The Red Devils endured a forgettable 2021/22, finishing 13 points off the top four and missing out on Champions League football as a result. One of last season’s darkest days came away at the Amex Stadium, where Brighton thrashed Manchester United 4-0.
Erik ten Hag has been appointed to turn the club’s fortunes around and his priority will be to bring Champions League football back to Old Trafford next year. Now that Man United kick off their new campaign at home to Graham Potter’s Brighton, there’s no better chance at redemption.
Manchester United Team News
Ten Hag revealed during his press conference that Anthony Martial is out of the encounter due to a hamstring problem, but Jadon Sancho and Luke Shaw have both overcome illness in time to be available. Cristiano Ronaldo is available as well to face Brighton amidst an uncertain future at Old Trafford.
New signings Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez are all in the frame to make their competitive debuts.
Meanwhile, Facundo Pellestri (ankle) and Brandon Williams (unspecific) due to injury are likely to miss out.
Predicted Manchester United lineup vs Brighton (4-2-3-1)
Perhaps the easiest position to pick is the goalkeeper, with David de Gea a certainty to start after being Ten Hag’s first-choice throughout the pre-season. The Spaniard will be hoping to make a positive start to the new season by keeping a clean sheet.
Skipper Harry Maguire is expected to marshal the Man United backline on Sunday. When fit, Maguire will often start as Ten Hag prefers ball-playing defenders in his system. New signing Lisandro Martinez could get the nod over Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof to start alongside Maguire in central defence.
Diogo Dalot has seemingly cemented his place at right-back after an impressive pre-season, and he’ll look to get forward and contribute as much as he can to United’s build-up plays. Based purely on form, new signing Tyrell Malacia is likely to start at left-back.
A double pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay looks very much on the cards. Fred’s job in the middle of the park will be crucial in breaking the play and recycling possession whilst allowing McTominay to get forward whenever he can.
Obviously, Bruno Fernandes starts in the No.10 position. His creativity and movement will be crucial in unlocking a compact Brighton backline at the weekend. Christian Eriksen and Donny Van de Beek will be solid options to call upon from the bench when required.
Anthony Martial’s injury opens the door for Cristiano Ronaldo to start up top, and even though he hasn’t had a full pre-season with the squad due to personal reasons, the Portuguese superstar remains in peak physical conditions.
Ronaldo is likely to be flanked by Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho. Ten Hag will hope the pace, energy and movement of United’s front three in the final third causes Brighton’s defence problems.
Anthony Elanga, Alejandro Garnacho and Amad Diallo could be some of the young offensive options for Ten Hag to call upon from the bench.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.