Old Trafford is also known as the Theatre of Dreams. However, Manchester United has been living a nightmare since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. Not even Jose Mourinho could take the Red Devils back to the English Premier League throne. Now it’s up to Erik ten Hag, who already worked his magic to turn Ajax back into a powerhouse.
Officially, the new era begins this Sunday against Brighton, a team whose main objective is to qualify for a UEFA competition. Last season, they almost made it, so I think it’s better not to underestimate the Seagulls.
As expected, the Red Devils dominate the soccer lines, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo’s status as the main question.
Manchester United: Reinforcements Are Ready
Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t injured or anything like it, the thing is that he requested a transfer in order to compete in the UEFA Champions League. Last season, Manchester United finished sixth in the EPL, which means the Red Devils qualified for the UEFA Europa League.
The problem is that he hasn’t been able to find a new team. Additionally, the new manager wants him to stay. In fact, the Portuguese managed 45 minutes against Rayo Vallecano last Sunday in the team’s last preseason game. Considering Anthony Martial is out due to a minor injury, Ronaldo’s expected to play. He’s among the favorites to win the Golden Boot at +2000.
The new faces are also expected to play. We’re talking about Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, and Christian Eriksen. Martinez used to play for Ajax, so the new coaching staff knows him very well. Luke Shaw, who missed out on last weekend’s friendlies, is also expected to be on the field.
Summing up, the Red Devils have everything they need to start the new era on the right foot. That includes, as mentioned before, having the Las Vegas odds on their side thanks to a -165 price. Despite not meeting expectations last season, they only lost four games at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils finished the preseason with a 3-2-1 record. Jadon Sancho scored in three of those games, so he could also make a big difference on Saturday.
Brighton: Highly Motivated
Last Saturday, Brighton had no mercy on Espanyol and defeated the Spanish side 5-1. Leandro Trossard was named the Man of the Match after scoring a hat-trick. In other words, the Seagulls are highly motivated and ready to assault Old Trafford.
Like the Red Devils, they also made some roster moves during the offseason. The Seagulls added Levi Colwill on loan from Chelsea. That was the least the Blues could do after snatching Marc Cucurella. They also signed Julio Enciso. The Paraguayan, who arrived from Libertad, is expected to have an immediate impact despite only being 18 years old.
The one who won’t be available is Jakob Moder. In fact, he won’t be available for a long time. Fortunately for them, manager Graham Potter confirmed he’ll have no other absentees for Sunday’s battle at Old Trafford.
Here’s another reason to consider including the Seagulls in your soccer picks. Last season, they finished with a better record on the road (7-8-4) than at home (5-7-7). They also finished with a +2 goal-differential when playing away from home. That being said, they’re offering a +455 price to win straight up in Manchester.
One last thing: the pressure is on the Red Devils’ shoulders. The Seagulls have nothing to lose.
Man United vs Brighton Head-to-Head
- Previous Matches: 28
- Manchester United Victories: 19 (49 goals)
- Brighton Victories: 4 (22 goals)
- Draws: 5
Last season, these two met twice, with each winning at home. First, Manchester United won 2-0 at Old Trafford. Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes were the scorers. Brighton played almost the entire second half with one player less after Lewis Dunk was sent off.
Later, the Seagulls took revenge at Amex Stadium with a 4-0 victory. Cucurella, Trossard, Moises Caicedo, and Pascal Grob were the scorers. This time, they didn’t get a yellow card. The Seagulls have never won at Old Trafford.
Man United vs Brighton Game Information
- Date: Sunday, August 7
- Time: 9:00 a.m. ET
- Location: Old Trafford, Manchester
- Manchester United vs Brighton Live Stream: fubo.tv
Man United vs Brighton Betting Lines
|Manchester United||-1 +115||-160||2½ -115o||1½ -130o |
|Brighton||+1 -135||+455||2½ -105u||½ -150o |
Man United vs Brighton Prediction
Expectations around Manchester United are high for a good reason. Let Eriksen explain: “It looks good and it feels good among the players in the first team. There’s a good feeling around after the tour and I hope it can continue. It starts with Brighton and, hopefully, it will be a good start,” said the midfielder during an interview.
The Red Devils aren’t among the betting online favorites to win the title, but they’re definitely a tempting dark horse, especially at +3500.
The first game of the season is always tricky, but they should be able to fulfill their role as favorites. After all, they’ve won seven of their last 10 meetings with Albion. Plus, having a new manager makes all the players want to show their best version. That’s why we believe the Red Devils are going to win a close, highly entertaining battle.
Oh, yes, we also expect the total going over, just like it happened in seven of their last 10 encounters.
Score Prediction: Manchester United 2, Brighton 1
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.