Manchester United travel to Wembley on Sunday to face Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup semi-finals, still hoping for a domestic double in 2022-23.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Recently, Grimsby Town played against Brighton in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Though it was a memorable experience for Grimsby, Brighton won the game convincingly with a score of 5-0, ending Grimsby’s dream run. However, Brighton sets their sights on breaking its Wembley curse and making it to the final.
Brighton defeated former champions Liverpool, Stoke City, and Middlesbrough to reach the quarter-finals. This marks their first FA Cup semi-final since the 2018-19 season, where they were knocked out by eventual winners Manchester City.
Winning the FA Cup would give Brighton a route into the Europa League, but they are also in the running for European competition through their league performance. Last weekend, they secured a well-deserved 2-1 victory over Chelsea after a controversial loss to Tottenham Hotspur in the previous game.
Brighton Form (All Competitions): W D W L W
Manchester United suffered a crushing defeat in the Europa League quarter-finals against Sevilla, losing 3-0. Despite a few costly defensive errors from David de Gea and Harry Maguire, Sevilla played exceptionally well and thoroughly deserved their victory.
Youssef En-Nesyri took advantage of two mistakes from the Manchester United defense, and Loic Bade added a third goal with a shoulder finish.
Erik ten Hag admitted that his team needed to prepare for the match in Seville. His team suffered several injuries, making it difficult to compete at their best level. Unfortunately, their hopes of winning a continental title were dashed.
On the other hand, Manchester United had a more successful run in the FA Cup this season. Remarkably, all four of their games at Old Trafford ended in 3-1 victories against Everton, Reading, West Ham United, and Fulham.
Man United Form (All Competitions): W W D W L
In their last game against Chelsea, Brighton suffered some injuries to key players. Joel Veltman and Evan Ferguson were forced to leave the field due to thigh and ankle problems.
Unfortunately, their coach, Roberto De Zerbi, has confirmed that neither player will be available for the semi-final.
Jakub Moder is out with an ACL injury, Tariq Lamptey is recovering from a knee problem, Adam Lallana is dealing with a thigh issue, and Jeremy Sarmiento has a knee injury.
Erik ten Hag faces a significant defensive crisis as Harry Maguire, who received his second yellow card in the FA Cup game against Fulham, will be suspended for the semi-final.
Unfortunately, this only adds to their injury woes, with Lisandro Martinez out with a foot injury and Raphael Varane dealing with an ankle issue.
In addition to these key players, Tom Heaton and Alejandro Garnacho remain unavailable with ankle problems.
Donny van de Beek is also recovering from a knee injury, and Scott McTominay’s knock will require further assessment in the next 48 hours.
Brighton & Hove Albion’s expected starting lineup:
Sanchez; Gross, Webster, Dunk, Estupinan; Caicedo, Mac Allister; March, Enciso, Mitoma; Welbeck
Manchester United’s expected starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Shaw, Malacia; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
Head to Head
Despite a historic run of seven consecutive defeats, Brighton has won their last two encounters with Manchester United.
The two teams have drawn five times, and Manchester United has emerged victorious in 19 meetings.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Sunday, April 23
Time: 04:30 pm, BST
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London
Manchester United will be boosted by the return of Fernandes, which should improve their chances of creating scoring opportunities.
However, Brighton is known for their attacking play and could use United’s weakened defense to secure a place in the final.