Manchester United will wrap up the second spot in the Premier League with a victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday night at The American Express Community Stadium.
Mourinho’s men are five points ahead of Liverpool who are their closest contenders, and a win in this rescheduled game against a Brighton side that’s winless in seven matches will seal the second spot for United.
Brighton managed back-to-back draws against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley in their last two Premier League matches to brighten their chances of surviving the drop.
Chris Hughton’s side has a tough end to the season with Manchester City and Liverpool still to come after the United game, the Seagulls current point haul of 37 could well be enough to see them survive the drop except the bottom three can pull off unlikely results in the remainder of the season.
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Brighton’s home record is not that bad, they have managed to amass 26 points from 18 games and this include victory over Arsenal in March. Chris Hughton will hope that his players can put on a show for supporters to ensure that the trips to Manchester City and Liverpool are nothing more than dead rubbers.
Manchester United season has not been the best and crashing out to Sevilla in the Champions League is the peak of the bunch among this season’s disappointment, since that humiliating Champions League last-16 defeat, the Red Devils have won six of their last seven matches, with the only exception in that sequence wins coming at the hands of bottom club West Bromwich Albion.
Manchester United hope to secure a fourth straight away win in the league for the first time since April 2017, but Mourinho will need to remind his charges not to be too relaxed as they have already suffered defeats at Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United, the other two promoted club.
The only player unavailable for Brighton is Steve Sidwell, who has not played a single match this season due to an ankle injury, Davy Propper’s return from suspension will delight manager Chris Hughton, the Dutch midfielder will likely slot right back into the side alongside Dale Stephens for his 33rd Premier League start of the campaign.
Manchester United only injury concern is Romelu, who limped off with an ankle injury against Arsenal last weekend and is now in a race against time to return to action before the FA Cup final against Chelsea in a fortnight.
Romelu Lukaku’s absence would give the likes of Marcus Rashford the opportunity to lead the line, while Alexis Sanchez who has steadily improved playing from a wide position with two goals and three assists in his last five matches should be part of the starting lineup on Friday night.
Elsewhere, Phil Jones is back from a hamstring complaint that ruled him out against Arsenal, and Eric Bailly is also expected to travel to the south coast after surprisingly being omitted from the Red Devils’ squad for their last two matches.
Brighton & Hove Albion Possible Starting Lineup:
Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo; Gross; Murray
Manchester United Possible Starting Lineup:
De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Mata, Rashford, Sanchez
Brighton is desperate for points that will confirm their safety before tough away trips to Manchester City and Liverpool, the Seagulls have demonstrated that they can also hold their own against very tough opposition with the victory over Arsenal in March and recently holding Spurs to a frustrating 1-1 draw.
manchester United come into this match with very little or nothing to play for except pride and possibly to keep the players in good shape ahead of the FA Cup game against Chelsea. After careful evaluation what is at stake for both teams going into the game, my prediction is that the game will end in a draw.