Man United face Premier League rivals Brighton in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Manchester United will be looking to get back to winning ways against Brighton on Sunday afternoon after crashing out of Europe in midweek at the hands of Sevilla.
Erik ten Hag’s side exited the Europa League after losing 5-2 on aggregate to the La Liga side, having lost 3-0 at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in the quarter-final second leg on Thursday night. The Reds, who drew 2-2 at Old Trafford in the first leg, will now be focused on their FA Cup semi-final clash against the Seagulls.
United overcame Fulham in the last round of the competition to set up a tie with Roberto De Zerbi’s men. The two sides will meet at Wembley with a place in the final – against either Manchester City or Sheffield United – up for grabs. Ten Hag will be without a host of first-team players for the game, with first-choice centre-back pairing Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane out injured, while Anthony Martial is also a doubt after limping off against Sevilla.
David de Gea was arguably at fault for the first goal United conceded in midweek, and he was certainly to blame for Sevilla’s final strike on the night. However, given that he has played in every single FA Cup match so far this season, it is unlikely that Ten Hag will drop him for the game with Brighton – even if some fans have called for it.
In defence, the Reds are struggling for options. Varane and Martinez are both sidelined and Harry Maguire is ruled out through suspension. Therefore, Ten Hag could be forced to play Luke Shaw alongside Victor Lindelof at the heart of defence. The England international has performed well in that role when called upon, but having just come back from an injury, it would be a big test for the defender. Meanwhile, Tyrell Malacia could come back into the side at left-back, while Diogo Dalot might get the nod on the right.
Bruno Fernandes was badly missed in the second leg clash with Sevilla, so his return to the starting line-up will come as a boost to the Reds. The Portuguese ace has performed well alongside Casemiro and Christian Eriksen this season, and with Ten Hag’s first-choice midfield now back available, United certainly look stronger. Marcel Sabitzer struggled in an advanced role in midweek and will more than likely drop to the bench for Fernandes.
Having failed to get on the scoresheet on Thursday night, the Reds will need more from their attackers against Brighton. Marcus Rashford had little impact coming off the bench. Regardless, he is expected to start against the Seagulls and he will be key if United are to progress. Given that Martial went off injured against Sevilla, Wout Weghorst could lead the line, but he needs to step it up after a number of underwhelming showings. Antony, meanwhile, has been in good form in recent weeks.