Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United
A Premier League trip to the south coast on a Saturday lunchtime in late September – now that sounds like a potential day out to enjoy.
The only issue right now, of course, is that no fans will be at this or any fixtures for some time to come and the occasions are poorer for it.
Only last month, Brighton became the first Premier League club to welcome back fans when they hosted a pilot event with 1,500 attending a pre-season friendly against Chelsea.
It had been hoped supporters could return to limited-capacity football stadiums soon with grounds up to 33 per cent full.
However, tighter restrictions due to a spike in Covid-19 cases have resulted in those plans being pushed back – potentially by six months.
That’s not to say there won’t be Premier League highlights at the Amex Stadium.
Indeed, if both clubs show the kind of form they are capable of, this could be extremely entertaining.
Brighton were certainly on form at the weekend as they cruised to a 3-0 victory on Tyneside against an abject Newcastle.
The player who shone above all in that match was young right wing-back Tariq Lamptey.
Within the opening seven minutes, he had terrorised Newcastle, winning the penalty which team-mate Neil Maupay converted before the 19-year-old played a role in the second goal by the same player.
The Chelsea academy graduate was snapped up by the Seagulls at the start of the year and now they are reaping the rewards as the youngster goes from strength to strength.
Despite his young age and small stature, Lamptey is impressively strong in defence. That, coupled with his pace and skill on the ball, makes him a danger at both ends of the pitch.
Manager Graham Potter is overseeing an ongoing change in Brighton’s much more expansive style – something which began with his appointment last season – and how they would crave a victory against the most glamorous club in the land to mark their progress.
While Brighton were impressive on the Tyne, Manchester United were anything but at home to Crystal Palace.
They slumped to a 3-1 defeat which showed how much they could struggle defensively without securing a world-class centre back with pace to play alongside skipper Harry Maguire.
On saying all of that, it must be remembered this was United’s first defeat in the league since a January shock at home to Burnley – a result which seemed to spell the end of the club’s chase for a place in the Champions League, yet which they achieved.
It must also be remembered, the Red Devils only finished a mammoth 61-match campaign little over a month ago and have not had a proper pre-season, something that was evident in their league opener.
Both sides were in League Cup action in midweek with United at Luton and Brighton travelling to Preston where they named much-changed sides.
It remains to be seen whether the hosts are without midfielder Yves Bissoumawho was dismissed in the 3-0 win at Newcastle.
Initially given a yellow card by referee Kevin Friend after he accidentally caught a player in the face, VAR intervened and recommended the official upgraded it to a straight red card for violent conduct – something which carries a three-match ban.
It would certainly be harsh if he misses the visit to town of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
Of 23 meetings between the clubs, Brighton have only won on three occasions but two of those have been in this fixture in the past two years.
In May 2018, a Pascal Gross goal secured a famous 1-0 victory for the Seagulls to secure their top flight survival. Then, in their first home match of the following season just three months later, Brighton capitalised on shocking defending to record a 3-2 success courtesy of Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and a Gross penalty.
United completed a league double over Brighton last term, however.
They emerged 3-1 winners at Old Trafford when Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford were on target and then triumphed 3-0 on the south coast in June when young talent Mason Greenwood netted a fine opener before Bruno Fernandes took centre stage with a double.
That had been United’s first win at Brighton and Hove Albion since April 1982 when the late, great Ray Wilkins scored the only goal of the game at the Goldstone Ground in League Division One.
|Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United||Over 2.75 @ 2.28|
|September 26, 19:30 (GMT+8)|
Despite their poor display against Crystal Palace and Brighton’s dominant win at Newcastle, the SbotopPremier League betting odds strongly favour the visitors.
Man Utd are priced 1X2 @ 1.79 and Asian Handicap – 1.00 @ 2.44.
Brighton can be backed 1X2 @ 4.50 and Asian Handicap +0.50 @ 2.16. The draw is on offer @ 3.45.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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