It’s a chilly day down in Brighton. Both teams are ready – Brighton are wearing in their lovely new home kit, United their new red strip.
“You weren’t the only one expecting Lindelof to be dropped (rested?) today,” says Neil Carter. “He was deemed to be fatigued during the last round of internationals and looked awful last week. Maybe two games for Eric in a week is too much though he is a fragile. Anyway an improved but still disjointed performance expected today against a well organised Brighton so 1-1 my prediction.”
“I think you mean Ron Burgundy,” says Keith Geoghegan (and tens of others). “Not sure why Ron Jeremy would be on your mind.”
Ach, apologies, I’ve amended it now.
“Afternoon, Rob,” says Ian Copestake. “On the crisis front, it is kind of understandable now given that any team with title pretentions can’t lose more than one game thanks to City driving Liverpool to such heights. And even a draw is looking like the new loss.”
The 1-0 win is the new loss.
Adam Lallana replaces Yves Bissouma in the Brighton midfield, an attacking decision from Graham Potter. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has gone back to the XI that won 3-0 here in June. That’s a bit of a surprise; I thought Eric Bailly would replace Victor Lindelof.
Brighton (3-4-3) Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Lallana, Alzate, March; Trossard, Connolly, Maupay.
Substitutes: Steele, Bernardo, Burn, Veltman, Gross, Molumby, Jahanbakhsh.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1) de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.
Substitutes: Henderson, Bailly, Fosu-Mensah, Lingard, Fred, van de Beek, McTominay.
Referee Chris Kavanagh.
Morning. You don’t need to have seen the film Anchorman to know it’s the source of the phrase, “Well, that escalated quickly.” We see it on memes all the time, with a picture of the film’s lead character Ron Burgundy. The main reason it’s such a popular meme is that, in modern society, things do escalate pretty darn quickly.
Look at Manchester United. They ended the 2019-20 season in a state of giddy optimism; six weeks later, it’s all doom and gloom. United have been all hat and no cattle in the transfer market, and they were alarmingly bad in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. If they lose today at Brighton, the media – traditional and social – will go to town. Ludicrous after only two league games, no question, but it’s an immutable law of Premier League coverage that at least one club must be IN CRISIS.
Brighton are a long way from a crisis, having had a quietly impressive start to the season. They played well in defeat to Chelsea and won emphatically at Newcastle, when Tariq Lamptey wowed the watching world. While Palace played on the counter-attack at Old Trafford, Brighton will try to dominate possession and outplay United. That might work in United’s favour, given their speed on the break and the absence of the influential Yves Bissouma in Brighton’s midfield. It should be a fascinating game.
Kick off 12.30pm