Brighton vs Man Utd – Analysis, Prediction, Team News

Thursday 4th May 2023
20:00 GMT
AMEX Stadium

As part of our midweek Premier League predictions, we take a look at Man Utd’s visit to Brighton. A win here for Brighton will boost their European prospects for next season. Free betting tips and more with our Brighton vs Man Utd prediction.



6-0 (H)

Nottingham Forest

3-1 (A)


2-1 (A)


2-1 (A)


2-0 (A)

Man Utd

Aston Villa

1-0 (H)


2-2 (A)

Nottingham Forest

2-0 (A)


2-0 (H)


1-0 (H)

Brighton vs Man Utd Preview

Brighton come into this game in mixed form. Indeed, they have won three and lost two of the previous five games (though VAR was hard on them in their loss against Spurs). Generally, though, the Seagulls have been playing well, and coach Roberto De Zerbi has them playing penetrating, incisive football. De Zerbi sprang a surprise at the weekend, dropping some players to the bench against Wolves (more on that later).

However, it worked a treat as Brighton ran out emphatic 6-0 winners after ripping Wolves to shreds. With 57 per cent possession and an xG of 3.58, Brighton were by far the better side. Gross, Welbeck and Undav each helped themselves to braces – it will be interesting to see if De Zerbi picks the same side again.

At home, Brighton have been pretty good this season. They have 27 points from 15 games and have only lost at the Amex four times. Coming into this game against Man Utd, they will know they had United’s number when they won in the first game of the season at Old Trafford. They also hammered United 4-0 in this fixture a year ago (almost to the day). Furthermore, they were unlucky not to beat United in the FA Cup semi-final two weeks ago. Therefore, Brighton know they can beat United, and they will have to as they still have a great chance of Europa League football.

Man United make the trip south in good form. Indeed, the Mancunian club have taken 13 points from the last 15, which they will be pleased about. Some games were close, but Erik Ten Hag’s men are getting the points regardless. In their match at the weekend, they quelled the threat of a high-flying Aston Villa with a 1-0 victory courtesy of Fernandes’s tap-in in the first half. In truth, the game was something of a damp squib after we stated it could be a cracker. There were mistakes galore, and neither team played particularly well. However, United were probably the better side and deserved their narrow win.

United have won seven of their 16 games away from home this season. Their record on the road against the top teams is abysmal (more on that later), so coming to the home of a side like Brighton is a challenging assignment for them based on the evidence of this season. Still, they’ll know that their counter-attacking style of football can be kryptonite for Brighton if they can keep the South Coast team out defensively. United have been scoring a modest number of goals recently, so we can’t imagine them showing up at the Amex and scoring three or four. If they do win, it will likely be cagey. However, they have Champions League football almost sewn up.

Team News

Injuries and Suspensions


Might Not Play: Veltman, Ferguson, Lallana, Moder

Will Not Play: Lamptey, Sarmiento

Man Utd:

Might Not Play: Garnacho

Will Not Play: Heaton, Jones, Martinez, Varane, McTominay, Van De Beek

Brighton vs Man Utd Lineups (Predicted)

Brighton (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Steele; Estupinan, Dunk, Webster, Gross; Caicedo, Mac Allister; Mitoma, Enciso, March; Welbeck

Man Utd (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): De Gea; Malacia, Shaw, Lindelof, Dalot; Sabitzer, Casemiro; Sancho, Fernandes, Antony; Rashford

Brighton vs Man Utd Lineup
Man Utd vs Brighton Lineup

Brighton vs Man Utd Analysis

De Zerbi Faces A Selection Dilemma, But Brighton Could Hurt United

De Zerbi has already alluded to the fact that he faces a quandary over which team to select on Thursday evening. Having dropped Caicedo, Mac Allister and Mitoma to the bench against Wolves (which caused despair for many a Fantasy Premier League manager), Gilmour, Enciso, and Undav did brilliantly against Wolves when they came in, as noted above. De Zerbi might go back to more of his tried and trusted lineup for the big game against Man Utd. It might feel harsh to relegate Undav, especially to the bench. However, Mitoma and Mac Allister will be needed in this game. Welbeck may also stay in, as Ferguson isn’t fully fit.

Brighton must try to play their passing football around Man Utd. They must be wary of United on the counter as the Manchester club are so good at breaking at pace on transitions. However, we expect Brighton to allow United to press them in high areas of the pitch. This situation is where Brighton are so good – they’re great at playing their way through the press, getting the ball into Caicedo and Mac Allister or Gilmour in midfield, and working their way into attacking positions through excellent and composed combination play. Gross (who was so good at the weekend) will likely play right-back with Veltman probably out, which gives Brighton slightly less threat from midfield.

When the ball reaches attacking positions, it will be up to the nippy, buzzy and talented dribblers Mitoma, Enciso and March to take on the United full-backs and defensive midfielders. They can either try to work triangles with teammates (especially Caicedo, Mac Allister and the flying Estupinan from left-back) or dribble into the United box themselves. Their ability to link play and their prospects of advancing into the area will be crucial. They can feed Welbeck or Ferguson with chances or shoot themselves once they’re one-on-one with De Gea. Youngsters Buonanotte and Ayari are options from the bench.

United Will Have Spells Of Possession, But Will Likely Play More On The Counter

This match resembles the classic set-up where United will come away from home and counter-attack. While Ten Hag wants his team to be more possession-orientated, there is no doubt that after the debacle against Brighton and Brentford at the start of the season, he has reverted more to soaking up pressure and breaking at pace against the good sides. United’s record away against the better teams has been atrocious, though – they have comfortably lost to Arsenal, Newcastle and Aston Villa, drawn with Spurs and been absolutely hammered at Man City, Brentford and Liverpool. Therefore, despite Champions League qualification likely being assured, this trip to Brighton is a daunting prospect.

Indeed, United will know that Brighton keep the ball better than they do (54 per cent to 61 per cent average possession) and will be expecting an onslaught from the Seagulls. The FA Cup semi-final last month was an example where Brighton mostly controlled the game. However, United generally kept them in check and didn’t concede many chances. The centre-back pairing of Shaw and Lindelof did well that day and will be used again. We debated whether Wan-Bissaka might play right-back to combat the potential selection of Mitoma – he is good one-on-one and mostly contained Mitoma at Wembley. However, we have gone for Dalot to start there as Malacia was pretty good at left-back against Villa.

Hence, United must prevent Brighton from playing through them with combination play. If Casemiro and Sabitzer (or Eriksen; the Dane’s ability to retain possession could see him get the nod) can play tight and compact with their central defenders and snuff out the danger, then United can win the ball in deeper positions and break quickly. United have been famous for their counter-attacking play since the Alex Ferguson days, and we expect this to be how they can hurt Brighton here.

Using the pace of Sancho, Antony, Martial and especially Rashford on the break could be an avenue to getting chances on goal against Steele. Gross at right-back might be a little more careful as he knows Rashford is such a threat in that left-hand channel. Either way, United must break at pace, use Fernandes’s passing and creativity to get into wide and dangerous areas and make chances on goal when Brighton are out of shape after they possibly overcommit.

Our Prediction

This game is such a difficult one to predict. On the one hand, Brighton have been playing well recently and decimated Wolves last weekend. Their dismantling of the Midlands club was so methodical and impressive that it showed Brighton for what they are – a serious outfit with a talented manager, where every player knows their job. De Zerbi is extracting the maximum from his players. In Caicedo, Mitoma, Mac Allister, Estupinan and Enciso, Brighton possess some really talented players that other clubs are looking at. We can only hope their team isn’t ripped apart in the summer, as they have built something to be proud of.

Man Utd travel south in good form, having won four of their last five Premier League games. These games have mostly been close, and there is an argument that they’ve just been getting by, but they’ve managed to get the wins nonetheless and kept four clean sheets in this run. Hence, we anticipate a tight game where all three outcomes are possible. However, Brighton have been scoring more goals than United recently (15 as opposed to 8 in their last six, though the Wolves result skews things). They have the invention and creativity to open United up.

Hence, Brighton will be up for it and out for revenge after the FA Cup semi-final elimination. We think they can grab the win here – though we also wouldn’t be surprised if it is a draw or a United win. Take into account that this is a challenging game to call.

Brighton 2-1 Man Utd

Brighton vs Man Utd Betting Tip – Brighton Odds:


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