The return to action has been kind to both Brighton and Man United, so that makes for interesting viewing when The Seagulls host Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s men on Tuesday night.
It will be United’s fourth game in just 11 days while for Brighton their 2-1 home win over Arsenal in their first home match for nearly four months will give them plenty of reason to be optimistic. It’s been a mixed season for Brighton but since the turn of the year, their home form has improved considerably with Crystal Palace being the only side to have won at the Amex Stadium in the league in that period.
It’s not just their home form which has improved either, as they have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last six games and that has meant Graham Potter’s men now find them themselves with a little bit of breathing space above the bottom three. As it stands, they lie six points clear of the danger zone.
It appears that the Amex Stadium is starting to become a bit of a fortress – in fact, it’s a venue where Man Utd haven’t enjoyed much luck in recent seasons and the last time they came away with a victory from Brighton was in the old First Division in April of 1982.
That’s four trips to the south east which has not resulted in a victory and on three of those occasions, it’s been a home win.
There’s no getting way from Man Utd’s brilliant form since late January however, and they’re now on a run which sees them unbeaten in 14 games. That said, Saturday’s hard-earned win over Norwich showed that their tough schedule is starting to catch up on them and fatigue could play a big factor in their performance here.
Having had to endure extra-time at Carrow Road just three days ago, the last thing they’ll want is a four-and-a-half-hour journey down south. So, with Brighton’s back four now looking near its best again, and the Seagulls’ home record against Man Utd being so good, a narrow Brighton win might just be on the cards here.
In their 16 home games (in all competitions) this season Brighton have scored more than one goal on just six occasions, so if it’s going to be a home win then it’s likely to be something similar to their 1-0 win over The Red Devils two seasons ago.
So, a Brighton win and Under 2.5 goals is what we can expect if The Seagulls are to see this through.
Brighton are outside shots to prevail and while we’re fancying that to happen, there’s much better value in them getting some sort of positive result given the vistors’ horrible record in this fixture.
Remember, it’s 38 years since a Man Utd team came away with a win and combined with Brighton’s positive form since the restart, the hosts must have an excellent chance of continuing that good spell.
Brighton to get a win or a draw, with the Double Chance option, could well be the value play in this one.
Lewis Dunk may have been a big part in Brighton getting their act together at the back, but he’s already achieved a personal best at the other end too.
Three goals so far this season is the most amount of goals he’s netted since Brighton joined the Premier League three seasons ago and it’s worth noting that those goals have come against Man Utd (at Old Trafford), Liverpool (at Anfield) and against Arsenal 10 days ago.
A set piece is most likely where Brighton will be at their most dangerous and Dunk can pose as big a threat as any defender in the Premier League in these situations.
Given that there’s not likely to be many goals here, he’ll be a tempting proposition to score first but the odds-on offer that he scores at any stage is probably a much safer selection.
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