Brighton v Manchester United: Take on rusty Reds

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer's United need plenty of work to get back to their usual level

This is a good opportunity to take on a vulnerable odds-on shot away from home but a penalty in the game appeals too, says Jamie Pacheco...

"Considering how undercooked the Red Devils looked last weekend, an organised Brighton side with that record against them may give them plenty to think about."

Brighton v Manchester United
Saturday 26 September, 12:30
Live on Sky Sports

No stars but plenty of graft

If you'd offered Brighton three points at this stage of the season they would have surely taken them. There was no disgrace in losing 3-1 at home to Chelsea and they bounced back well from that with a superb 3-0 win away at Newcastle, who had won themselves on the opening weekend.

With all due respect to Brighton, I often look at their line-up and wonder where the real quality is. But maybe that's missing the point and they're not one for big names and flashy forwards.

They certainly work hard and I quite like this new system where new arrival Ben White plays as part of a decent-looking back three and the impressive Tariq Lamptey gets forward a lot as a right wing-back. He could end up being their most important player.

I'd like to see Adam Lallana in midfield though as I think they need something a bit different. Yves Bissouma was sent off late on at Newcastle so misses out but he has different characteristics to Lallana, so we'll have to wait and see how they go about things.

United need to get the rust off

United were pretty poor last weekend, in what was their opening game of the season. Whether it was early season rust or the fact that the players looked like they hadn't had much of a break at all is up for debate but it was a far cry from that attack-minded side who was so good after Lockdown.

None of Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford really got going and instead it was sub Donny van de Beek who got their only goal. It will be interesting to see where they play him over the course of the season because he's something of a mix between Fernandes, Scott McTominay and to a lesser extent Paul Pogba. But it's a long old season and he'll surely feature plenty.

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Aaron Wan Bissaka and van de Beek both started in midweek and Mason Greenwood (who scored) came off the bench. All three might play here as it seems Greenwood's punishment from the manager might be coming to a close.

Should United be odds-on?

If head-to-head records at home are anything to go by, you won't find a better 4/15.1 chance this weekend. Opta tells us the Seagulls have won three of their last four at home to United, although admittedly, it was a very different story last season, a 3-0 win for the visitors when football returned. It was one of those matches where their attackers were flying high, Fernandes getting two and Greenwood the other.

Considering how undercooked the Red Devils looked last weekend, an organised Brighton side with that record against them may give them plenty to think about. They're not the same side with Wan Bissaka not fully fit yet, Harry Maguire may still be having nightmares about that ill-fated night in Mykonos and they're no closer to finding a reliable partner for him with Victor Lindelof being given the gig last Saturday and not covering himself in glory.

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I won't put anyone off backing the Brighton win but I'll stick to laying the visitors at 4/51.83.

Unders look decent

All of the last four between these two (both here and Old Trafford) had at least three goals but a better indication of where this might be headed in terms of goals is Brighton's home record last season: just 37% of their games in Brighton had over 2.5 goals.

For United it was even lower at 26% for away games last campaign so in a market that's finding it very hard to split the pair, go with 'unders', as that's what the stats say tends to happen in games of this nature.

Bet on spot kick could be spot on

Three games these two have played between them this season and each one had a penalty in it. Coincidence? Maybe, but United were after all the team who was awarded the most last season of anyone (14) and were ranked third (13) for most given away.

With VAR looking at absolutely everything these days, you'd probably make money blindly backing this bet every match. And with these numbers, even more reason to do so, at 9/5.

Jamie Pacheco's 2020-21 Premier League P and L

Points wagered: 2
Points Returned:
P and L: -2

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