Brighton & Hove Albion host Manchester United in Saturday’s early afternoon Premier League kick-off.
Brighton started off the new campaign with a 3-1 defeat at home to Chelsea but can consider themselves unlucky, having played well, with an even split of the quality of chances on the night (1.27xG vs 1.38 for Chelsea) - but they’ve since got their just rewards for a fine performance, comfortably beating Newcastle 3-0 away last weekend, exerting total control and denying the Magpies a single shot on target.
Graham Potter has also navigated his Seagulls through to the fourth round of the League Cup, comfortably beating Portsmouth and Preston with much-changed second-string XIs.
Young right-back Tariq Lamptey has been a revelation so far this season and put in an electric display all over the pitch at Newcastle last week. He was taken off as a precaution but is expected to return here.
Lamptey is yet to score a senior goal in his career but he looks a force getting forward and it appears only a matter of time. Manchester United looked vulnerable down their left channel last time out and will fear him here - Paddy Power price the 19-year-old at a massive 14/1 to score his first career goal here, and 33/1 to score the first goal.
Manchester United, meanwhile, ended last season in strong form, wrapping up a third-place finish after rising up the table post-Christmas. No Premier League side took more points since they signed Bruno Fernandes in late January, but they’ve failed to take that momentum into the new season.
They looked flat going forward and defensively suspect as they were deservedly beaten 3-1 at home to Crystal Palace in their opening fixture last Saturday and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will demand a response, although a 3-0 victory over Luton in the Carabao Cup in midweek will have helped.
We recommend backing Brighton to get something here. They were unfortunate not to get anything against Chelsea and were exceptional against Newcastle last weekend, while if Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat to Crystal is anything to go by, they’ll take some time to get going. A 1-1 draw is priced at 6/1 with Betfair Sportsbook.
*All prices correct at the time of writing and subject to change
There is a 26.4% chance of a draw. In simulations where the game is not a draw Manchester United, at 50.1%, are heavy favorites to beat Brighton & Hove Albion who have just a 23.6% chance to win at home. Overall, the average simulation score is Manchester United 1.7 to Brighton & Hove Albion 1.1. In simulation wins, Brighton & Hove Albion upsets Manchester United by averaging 10.4 shots and 4.4 shots on goal. They average 2.2 goals in simulated victories vs just 0.6 in simulation losses.
Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty deep into added time as Manchester United snatched a dramatic 3-2 win from an incident-packed encounter at Brighton.
Fernandes coolly converted from 12 yards with the last kick of the game after referee Chris Kavanagh penalised Neal Maupay for handball having consulted the pitchside monitor.
Solly March appeared to have earned Albion the point they deserved by heading home five minutes earlier to cancel out Marcus Rashford’s superb solo effort.
But, after Kavanagh initially seemed to have blown the full-time whistle, Fernandes had the final say.
A Lewis Dunk own goal had quickly levelled Maupay’s cheeky opener from the penalty spot just before the break but the goals were far from the full story.
United, who struggled to impress and were second best for much of the afternoon, also had two goals disallowed, while the Seagulls remarkably struck the woodwork five times and had another spot-kick award overturned following a VAR review.
Brighton boss Graham Stephen Potter, as he was named on the official teamsheet, felt United were the best team to visit the Amex Stadium last season.
Solskjaer reverted to the team which ran riot to record a comprehensive 3-0 win here in late June, bringing in Aaron Wan-Bissaka , Nemanja Matic and Mason Greenwood, while keeping faith with under-fire defender Victor Lindelof following his performance in last weekend’s shock home defeat to Crystal Palace.
After the unexpected loss to Palace, the 20-time English champions were bidding to avoid suffering successive defeats at the start of a Premier League season for the first time in 28 years.
That unwanted statistic looked likely to materialise when Leandro Trossard struck both posts from the edge of the box and Albion team-mate Adam Webster headed against the crossbar inside the opening half an hour.
The recalled Greenwood later had an effort ruled out for offside against Rashford in the build up, before Albion striker Maupay opened the scoring with his third goal in two games.
The Frenchman, who registered a brace at Newcastle last weekend, audaciously dinked home from 12 yards after Fernandes was penalised for a challenge on Tariq Lamptey.
Having secured the advantage their display merited, the Seagulls surrendered it just 194 seconds later to go in level at the break.
Fernandes’ pacey free-kick from the left was turned across goal by Matic before Dunk, under pressure from Harry Maguire, diverted in the fifth Premier League goal of his career.
With the equaliser being credited to Dunk, United’s first attempt on goal eventually arrived in the 44th minute when Matic’s thunderous drive from distance flew straight at Ryan.
Brighton, buoyed by three successive wins without conceding in league and Carabao Cup, were playing with plenty of confidence and stretching the pitch at every opportunity as United continued to stutter.
The hosts thought they had an opportunity to quickly regain the lead within two minutes of the restart.
But, after initially penalising Paul Pogba for a trip on Aaron Connolly, Kavanagh reversed his decision after watching the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Minutes later it was United’s turn to be thwarted by VAR. Rashford turned the ball into the net but, despite the flag not originally going up, he was clearly offside.
However, Rashford was not to be denied for long and he put United 2-1 up with a fine individual effort.
After collecting the ball from Fernandes, he danced around the Seagulls defence during a mazy run which received the emphatic finish it deserved.
Brighton were far from beaten and deserved a point at the very least. March saw a low effort rebound off the inside of the right post, before Trossard completed a hat-trick of sorts by thumping against the bar.
United, who return here in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening, looked to have survived the pressure before the unmarked March sparked wild celebrations by nodding in from close range.
However, there was a late twist in the tale.
Players from both teams surrounded match official Kavanagh during a remarkable ending to the game which culminated in Fernandes’ calm spot-kick after Maguire headed against the outstretched arm of Maupay.
Amid the melee, the Portugal international was the calmest man in the stadium as he duly dispatched the ball high into the top-right corner to cap a crazy encounter.