Brighton v Man Utd Betting Tips & Preview

Will Jose Mourinho extend his winning start to the season on the south coast?

Ryan Elliott
 | 
Thu, 16 Aug, 9:34 AM

 

The fixture list can be a funny (suspicious) thing. This time last year, Brighton and Hove Albion were preparing for their first ever home Premier League match against Manchester City. They valiantly lost 2-0, putting in a mightily promising defensive performance. Nine months later, in their final home match of the season, The Seagulls beat Manchester United at The Amex to secure Premier League survival.

This season, Chris Hughton’s men face Manchester United in their first home match and Manchester City in their final home match. It’s a symmetry which has been thrown up by the top six-favouring algorithm of the fixture list computer.

 

I digress, it’s a chance for Jose Mourinho to get revenge on Brighton after their defeat at the Amex last season, but will it be as simple as that? United beat Leicester City 2-1 in their opening game – without really hitting top gear – and it’s a start Mourinho will deem more than satisfactory. Brighton on the other hand, were dismal in their 2-0 away defeat to Watford.

Albion had the worst away form in the Premier League last campaign – winning twice and scoring just 10 goals (five of them came from two matches) – but it was their home form which kept them in the division, losing just four times all season.

The fixture list can be a funny (suspicious) thing. This time last year, Brighton and Hove Albion were preparing for their first ever home Premier League match against Manchester City. They valiantly lost 2-0, putting in a mightily promising defensive performance. Nine months later, in their final home match of the season, The Seagulls beat Manchester United at The Amex to secure Premier League survival.

This season, Chris Hughton’s men face Manchester United in their first home match and Manchester City in their final home match. It’s a symmetry which has been thrown up by the top six-favouring algorithm of the fixture list computer.

I digress, it’s a chance for Jose Mourinho to get revenge on Brighton after their defeat at the Amex last season, but will it be as simple as that? United beat Leicester City 2-1 in their opening game – without really hitting top gear – and it’s a start Mourinho will deem more than satisfactory. Brighton on the other hand, were dismal in their 2-0 away defeat to Watford.

Albion had the worst away form in the Premier League last campaign – winning twice and scoring just 10 goals (five of them came from two matches) – but it was their home form which kept them in the division, losing just four times all season.

As they settled into Premier League life, Brighton drew with Tottenham and beat Arsenal & United at The Amex, so I would suggest Mourinho’s men will not be in for an easy ride on the south coast.

Much has been made of the pressure Mourinho is under; the friction with the players, fans and board whilst playing uninspiring football has put his long-term future in doubt. If they don’t get a result at Brighton, the cautious optimism following Friday’s win will rapidly disperse into the warm Sussex air.

Paul Pogba’s not-so-cryptic comments after their Leicester win screams of behind the scenes discontent. Their World Cup stars are still being slowly eased into proceedings, which is creating a perfect storm for slipping up on Sunday.

Only the top six and Everton had a better home record than Brighton last season, and I genuinely believe they will get a result here. Hughton has made the Seagulls incredible hard to break down, but expect a few new names to add some flair into the mix, namely Yves Bissouma and Iranian record-signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

Picture Mourinho’s face in the post-match press conference – looking like he’s just chewed a wasp – after dropping points at Brighton. Now who doesn’t want to see that?

That’s why I’m backing Brighton to win or draw in this double chance.

 

If there’s one thing we know about Chris Hughton sides, it’s that they won’t take undue risks. He will be perfectly happy to sit back and soak up pressure with ten men behind the ball. Centre-backs Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk have been consistently playing together for two years now – the former making 327 clearances last season, by far the most in the league – and their familiarity has contributed massively to Brighton’s resilience at the back.

As for United, we all know they aren’t the most free-scoring side. They opened their Premier League account against Leicester after just three minutes courtesy of a penalty, but their wealth of attacking talent clearly haven’t clicked fully in an attacking sense under Mourinho.

United managed to score just once against Brighton last season in the league – and that was courtesy of a mightily fortunate deflected Dunk own-goal – which is further evidence of their struggles to break down Hughton’s side.

I’m backing it to be 0-0 at half-time, with the game likely to be decided in the closing stages of this match.

 

Albion’s centre-backs amassed 16 yellow cards between them last season, and you’ll get good odds if you back Lewis Dunk to pick up another booking on Sunday.

Dunk has certainly improved his discipline over the last couple of years, but with the pace Manchester United have on offer, the chances of a yellow card are much higher than other home games, particularly as the visitors will enjoy more of the ball.

Lewis Dunk to be carded is my final tip for this one.

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