Manchester United v Brighton Saturday 17th March, 19:45 Live on BT Sport
Manchester United aim to bounce back
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insisted he had no regrets after watching his team exit the Champions League at home to Sevilla on Tuesday night. The Red Devils were second best in a befuddling performance that lacked energy, ideas and inspiration.
United faced 21 attempts in their 2-1 defeat against the Spaniards - the most they have allowed an opposition side at Old Trafford since Real Madrid attempted 22 in March 2013 as the La Liga outfit became only the third team to score two or more goals at the Theatre of Dreams under Mourinho's watch.
Marouane Fellaini appeared off the pace having been given a first start since November and may make way here, whilst Marcus Rashford was largely ineffectual when playing from the right. Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata will all expect recalls on Saturday night.
Brighton almost safe from relegation
Brighton frustrated Everton for an hour last weekend before the Seagulls self-destructed and went down 2-0 at Goodison Park. Gaetan Bong's own goal broke the deadlock before Everton doubled the lead and Anthony Knockaert was sent off. Goalkeeper Matt Ryansaved a late penalty to keep the scoreline respectable.
Despite the defeat, Albion need just six points from eight games to reach 40 - no wonder they're20.00 to go down on the Betfair Exchange - the magic number that is supposedly needed to guarantee Premier League survival.
Their plan to frustrate Everton was working well until Bong's own goal, while Knockaert's ill-discipline cost his side any chance of a comeback.
Brighton's seven-match unbeaten streak came to an end on Merseyside and Knockaert will now be unavailable for the trip to Old Trafford on Saturday night. The Seagulls have lost 'to nil' in six of eight league matches this term when the Frenchman's failed to start.
Red Devils can justify short-priced favouritism
Manchester United 1.35 had won 17 of their 20 Old Trafford contests this season prior to their shocking defeat at home to Sevilla in midweek and should be capable of getting back on track by overcoming Brighton11.00 in this FA Cup quarter-final clash on Saturday evening.
The Red Devils have ousted Derby, Yeovil and Huddersfield without conceding a goal in the competition already this term and Jose Mourinho's men have shipped just four home goals in 13 fixtures when excluding the Big Six and European encounters this season.
With Brighton returning W0-D3-L6 in their past nine away Premier League outings - notching only two goals - it's difficult to see the Seagulls boasting the cutting edge to upset United without Anthony Knockaert. The visitors have fired blanks in 14 league fixturessince promotion and have W1-D0-L7 against the Big Six, failing to find the net on five occasions.
With seven of Albion's 10 away defeats concluding 2-0 and with United scoring more than three goals just once at Old Trafford since September, backing the 2-0 correct score6.00and Man Utd to win and Under 3.5 Goals (5/6)both appeal at the prices. Eight of the hosts' 12 home Premier League triumphs arrived alongside Under 3.5 Goals.
Don't expect a goal-glut on Saturday night
Manchester United's most recent four fixtures have each surpassed the Over 2.5 Goals line, as have four of their last five encounters at Old Trafford across all competitions. A repeat is backable at 1.72 but Brighton's defensive organisation and mind-set make the odds unappealing.
Only two of the Seagulls' 13 away days since promotion have produced three or more goals and so a play on Under 2.5 Goals at 2.08 is far more attractive than backing a goal-heavy game.
Back Manchester United to win and Under 3.5 Goals @ 5/6 in Manchester United v Brighton
Back Manchester United to win 2-0 @ 6.00 in Manchester United v Brighton