Hoping to finally kickstart their already faltering season, Manchester United are facing an uphill battle to surmount Brighton & Hove Albion, as well as talented Italian head coach, Roberto de Zerbi, however, home advantage has placed the Old Trafford side as betting favorites to win.
United, who have won just two of their opening four Premier League games this season, have continued their staggeringly poor away form, dropping losses to Tottenham Hotspur and last weekend, Arsenal in London – the latter in a much more positive display despite a 3-1 scoreline at the Emirates Stadium.
As for Brighton, the high-flying Canaries have won three of their opening four Premier League matches this season, with the aforenoted, de Zerbi once more guiding the seaside club up the table toward European football.
However, despite a poor start to the campaign for Erik ten Hag’s side, which has been further plagued amid controversy surrounding Brazilian forward, Antony, and former Borussia Dortmund winger, Jadon Sancho this week, bookies have placed United as slight 23/20 betting odds to beat Brighton – who are closing currently at 19/10.
Missing international duty with his native Republic of Ireland due to a slight injury, former Bohemians striker, Evan Ferguson is sure to catch a keen eye if he features at Old Trafford this weekend, betting sites Ireland are currently offering the 18-year-old goalscorer at decent odds to find the net away from home, after scoring a hattrick against Newcastle United last time out.
Strapped for numbers on the right hand side of a faltering forward line, United have elected to instruct the above-mentioned, Antony to take a leave of absence amid controversy surrounding his personal life, whilst an in-house spat between Sancho and ten Hag has continued to rumble along this week.
Electing to drop Sancho – who had featured in United’s three opening Premier League games this season, from the matchday squad for last weekend’s trip to Arsenal, ten Hag confirmed that a lack of performance or application during training led to Sancho’s dismissal.
However, releasing a statement contradicting ten Hag’s claims, Sancho has since been told to engage in a personal training programe, away from the first team squad, after refusing to issue an apology to ten Hag when prompted by United officials.
It is further understood, that United and ten Hag were exploring the possibility of offloading Sancho before the close of the transfer window last week amid interest from the Saudi Pro League amid a heated fall out, however, the former Manchester City youth academy product elected against pursuing a move.
In terms of new inclusions to a matchday squad for United, Moroccan midfielder, Sofyan Amrabat has been tipped to make his first appearance for the side this weekend in some capacity against Brighton.
Arriving from Fiorentina on an initial loan deal with an option to buy come the end of the season in May of next year, Amrabat has been touted to feature – as has Danish forward, Rasmus Hojlund – who made a brief, yet exciting and promising cameo against Arsenal last week, and is expected to likely secure his first start for ten Hag’s side after feature for his native Denmark on international duty.