Man United at Brighton Team News: Jones, Smalling, Stephens

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Manchester United travels to Brighton & Hove Albion for the very first game of Premier League matchday three weekend. Both clubs beat Championship level sides in midweek League Cup action, but this match will obviously be much greater in significance.

United were an embarassment in their season opening loss to Crystal Palace, and the idea of losing the first two right off the top, given the opponents, seems ludicrously unacceptable.

Manchester United at Brighton & Hove Albion FYIs

Kickoff: 7:30 am ET Saturday Sept 26, TV Channel: NBCSN,

MUFC Starting XI Prediction: go here

Odds: Brighton +375 to win, draw +260. Manchester United to win -130

brighton and hove albion

Turning to the team news, we’ll start with the Seagulls, who will not have Yves Bissouma, for the next three matches. His accidental, but brutal studs-up kick into the face of opposing defender Jamal Lewis, during last weekend’s win at Newcastle, got him sent off.

Elsewhere, the long-term recovery of Jose Izquierdo is reaching conclusion, but he is still about two weeks away from being fully up to speed. Christian Walton and Florin Andone join him on the sidelines. Dale Stephens won’t be available for selection as he is finalizing a transfer to Burnley.

phil-jones

On the Manchester United side, they are still trying to work some of their first team players who were out on international duty into the team.

It’s been a real challenge given the abbreviated preseason, but there are only three confirmed absentees. Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones are injured while Chris Smalling will be left out as the club tries to work with AS Roma to FINALLY bring closure on his future.

It’s a beyond tedious transfer saga that is long overdue for resolution.

chris smalling man united

Prediction: United 2, Brighton 1

The Red Devils have all sorts of problems, mostly in the front office where they’re not supporting their manager at all in the transfer market, but I just don’t see them losing back-to-back to begin the term.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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Comments

  1. What’s the purpose of sending players on loan if not to gain playing time, improve and come back better. These Smalling has done, proving himself as one of the best in Italy which both Maguire and Lindolf cannot. Give Smalling a chance.

  2. Maguire is good to be left out of the starting XI

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