Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Predicted Manchester United team for trip to Brighton: Big Maguire decision as captain could return

Man Utd defenders Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire

Following a win last time out, the predicted Manchester United team to face Brighton could see Harry Maguire return from injury.

United are essentially out of the running to finish inside the top four now. A couple of losses against Arsenal and then Liverpool did not help matters.

The Red Devils have played more positively in the past couple of games, though. They drew 1-1 with Chelsea a couple of games ago, thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo equaliser.

The following game, United put Brentford to the sword, in a 3-0 win that again saw Ronaldo hit the net. United were missing players through injury for that game, and that is no different for this one.

On top of Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford is now ruled out with bronchitis, per Ralf Rangnick’s pre-match press conference.

There is also “a question mark” over the availability of centre-back Eric Bailly due to a back issue. However, club captain Maguire could return from a knee problem, as he has trained “the whole week” since just after the last game.

Last time out – Man Utd 3-0 Brentford

Cristiano Ronaldo waving to the Old Trafford crowd after a Manchester United win

Usual goalkeeper David De Gea started in net. The full-back positions were occupied by Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles.

Raphael Varane – who scored – and Victor Lindelof played at centre-back, and helped keep United’s first clean sheet since February.

The holding-midfield duo was Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic. The more advanced positions saw goalscorer Bruno Fernandes flanked by Anthony Elanga and Juan Mata – starting his first league game of the season.

Star striker Ronaldo started up top, and bagged his sixth goal in his last four games.

Predicted Man Utd team against Brighton

A lack of depth due to injuries could mean the team does not change all too much.

De Gea is sure to start in net. Dalot and Telles could remain as the full-backs, with the options in those positions scarce.

After the first clean sheet in a while, the centre-back positions could once again be filled by Varane and Lindelof – leaving captain Maguire to sit on the bench.

Fred came on from the bench last game, and he could replace Matic, and play alongside McTominay. Given the lack of creative options with both Sancho and Rashford out, Fernandes could once again play with Mata and Elanga either side of him.

Ronaldo is likely to retain his spot, amid his fantastic run in front of goal.

Predicted Manchester United XI: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Elanga, Fernandes, Mata; Ronaldo

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