Brighton vs Manchester United live team news and squad hints plus European permutations

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Brighton vs Manchester United live team news and squad hints plus European permutations

Live updates of Man United’s final game of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.



BySamuel LuckhurstChief Manchester United writerGeorge SmithSenior Football WriterSteven Railston

UPDATED14:56, 19 MAY 2024


A red background featuring the Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United badges. The Premier League and MEN logos are also present. There is a white line down the centre of the graphic to separate the two club badges.

Manchester United travel to Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day of the Premier League season.

Manchester United will be hoping to guarantee themselves European qualification for next season when they face Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on the final day of the Premier League season this afternoon.


United got back to winning ways in midweek, beating Newcastle United 3-2 in an entertaining contest at Old Trafford. Kobbie Mainoo, Rasmus Hojlund and Amad were each on target to secure a much-needed three points.


The victory has put United level on points with Newcastle ahead of this afternoon’s final round of fixtures, but the latter’s superior goal difference means they hold the advantage. United, who are currently eighth, must better Newcastle’s result to finish above them and secure a top-seven finish. Newcastle travel to Brentford.


Ahead of this afternoon’s game, Brighton announced the surprise news that head coach Roberto De Zerbi will leave the club. He joined the Seagulls in September 2022 and will be determined to bring the curtain down on a successful spell on the south coast with all three points.


You can follow all of the pre-match build-up, analysis and match updates via the live blog below:



Varane has travelled to Brighton





Here is a quick glance at how the hosts line-up at the Amex Stadium this afternoon.




United starting line-up vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Martinez, Dalot; Amrabat, Mainoo, McTominay; Amad, Fernandes, Garnacho.


Substitutes: Bayindir, Evans, Kambwala, Varane, Collyer, Eriksen, Antony, Hojlund, Rashford.



There could be goals this afternoon

This has potential to be high up in the Match of the Day running order. Brighton have plenty of attacking talent but are also prone to crashing and burning rather spectacularly. United press high and defend deep. There have been 113 goals in their games this season.


And there is often a mad final day result in this league. We’ve had Middlesbrough 8-1 City, Chelsea 8-0 Wigan, West Brom 5-5 United, Newcastle 5-1 Tottenham, Stoke 6-1 Liverpool and Tottenham 5-4 Leicester.


(Image: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images.)



Team news coming up soon

The team news at the Amex Stadium will be confirmed in just 10 minutes time. We will bring it to you as soon as it is announced.



United’s fans could have their own farewell to Klopp

A friend who is attending today’s game in the away end has sent a joke that one suspects is rife across WhatsApp today: Don’t forget the Klopps go back this weekend.


There is a chance United fans will air their own farewell to Klopp. “Jurgen’s cracking up” possibly. Ironically, he stood over a United contract (a dummy contract) when he came into the Old Trafford press room a couple of months ago.


That ship sailed a decade ago.


(Image: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images.)


McKenna is attracting plenty of interest

Kieran McKenna and Brighton would go hand in glove. McKenna is also attracting the attention of bigger hitters but it remains to be seen if they will dispatch their incumbent manager.


McKenna would be a more appealing prospect for United than fellow British coaches Gareth Southgate and Graham Potter. There would be a lot to get behind with a young coach who spent five years at the club from academy to first team and has worked wonders at Ipswich.


Some at United are still very sensitive about the manager’s position being scrutinised, despite the 14 league defeats, the current eighth-placed position, 19 defeats overall, total elimination from European competition etc.


Many at United are in an invidious position and Erik ten Hag has handled the pressure with good grace. He has been around the block often enough to know if his tenure does end after two years he should be assured of a good job elsewhere. And a pay-off.


(Image: Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images.)

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This could be Ten Hag’s last league game in charge

This has the potential to be Erik ten Hag’s last Premier League game in charge of United. The possibility of Ten Hag leaving at this stage seemed unthinkable at the end of last season, which was an outstanding first year in charge, but United have spectacularly regressed and it became harder to defend him with each month. There’s been an unrelenting injury crisis to contend with, but new lows have been reached and it seems inevitable there will be a parting of ways after the FA Cup final. United improved against Newcastle in midweek but still conceded plenty of chances and Brighton will be determined to end the campaign on a high, especially after the announcement of Roberto De Zerbi’s departure yesterday.


(Image: James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images.)


De Zerbi is a name to throw into the ring if Ten Hag goes

Roberto De Zerbi is among the managers United have assessed but this has been such an erratic season from Brighton that they could end it in the bottom half. They have also been hit by key injuries but De Zerbi’s selection strategy has been inconsistent and, looking from the outside, has probably contributed to such a drastic drop-off. It is a squad brimming with talent even without Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo.


De Zerbi would not be right for United but the reality is there is now a growing list of credible candidates to replace Erik ten Hag if he goes.


(Image: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images.)


Martinez’s presence has been sorely missed this season

The boost Lisandro Martinez provided when making a substitute appearance against Newcastle was noticeable and it will be great to see him make the starting line-up here ahead of the FA Cup final. Martinez has made just nine starts in all competitions this term and his prolonged absence has undeniably been a factor in the team’s regression. His ability to influence build-up play and break the lines makes him a unique option in defence, but what he brings to the dressing room in terms of mentality and spirit shouldn’t be forgotten. Martinez is a huge personality and he’s been sorely missed.




Varane has travelled to Brighton

Raphael Varane has travelled with the United squad to Brighton and it is in player and club’s interests he gets minutes. A Varane-Martinez partnership is possible for Wembley and United need to plan for that.


Harry Maguire is at Wembley to watch his brother, who is starting in the League Two play-off final for Crawley.


(Image: Marc Atkins/Getty Images.)


United have never won at the Amex Stadium with a crowd present

It’s another May day for United at Brighton. This is the third successive season they have played at the Amex in May and fourth overall.


United have never won here with a crowd present. Their three wins were within three months between June and September 2020 at the start of the Covid era.


(Image: Andy Rain/Pool via Getty Images.)


Brighton are United’s new bogey team

Brighton have won their past four league games against United and the last side to win five consecutive fixtures against the Reds was Norwich between 1988 and 1990. Wherever you look, the unwanted records have stacked up this season and Ten Hag could set another today on his way out as manager. Brighton have had United’s number in recent encounters, although they won just 1-0 at the Amex Stadium last season, scoring through a penalty that was won in the depths of injury time. Brighton won comfortably at Old Trafford in September and Hannibal Mejbri, who hardly got a kick during his loan with Sevilla in the second half of the season, scored a consolation goal. United must perform better this afternoon.




Three ways United could line up vs Brighton

Ahead of this afternoon’s Premier League encounter, our United writers have had their say on the Reds should line up.


Samuel Luckhurst:


United have to get the balance of rest and rotation right ahead of next week’s FA Cup final. Alejandro Garnacho has been overplayed all season and is in need of a breather. With Marcus Rashford in need of a start, there has to be a straight swap on the left.


Amad and Sofyan Amrabat have to continue to maintain their momentum, Lisandro Martinez needs a start and it is worth protecting Casemiro, despite uncertainty over his role for the FA Cup final. Jonny Evans could start at Wembley but the preference has to be for Raphael Varane to get up to speed with a second-half appearance.


Although United have the Europa Conference League to play for, another academy debutant would raise morale. Harry Amass has had an outstanding debut season.


Steven Railston:


Varane and Martinez provided an outstanding defensive foundation last season and they should have ‘one last dance’ at the Amex Stadium. Hopefully Varane ‘takes it personally’ (insert Michael Jordan reference) a new contract wasn’t agreed and delivers a great display.


The Frenchman will leave United upon the expiry of his contract but is still the best defender at the club and will be needed in the FA Cup final alongside the brilliant Martinez. After the Newcastle win, Armabat deserves to retain his starting role and the same can be said about Amad.


Rashford could start the FA Cup final on the bench and if he doesn’t start against Brighton, he must make an impact as a substitute to stake a claim to feature at Wembley.


Dominic Booth:


It’s worth keeping Evans at the back, given he’s done little wrong when called upon, while Dalot and Wan-Bissaka must stay on their preferred sides, as that’s the way United will surely line up in the cup final.


Amrabat is proving a decent foil for Mainoo in the middle of the park, and again that should be used at Brighton to trial it for Wembley, while it’s worth reinstating Rashford to rebuild his form and fitness too.



United’s players owe their fans a performance today

The final day of the Premier League season has arrived and it’s been a gruelling campaign for United fans. Erik ten Hag is responsible for a club-record of 14 defeats in the league and there have been some awful results along the way, so the travelling support making the pilgrimage from Manchester to the Amex Stadium will be glad to see the back of it. On the bright side, it’s a beautiful day on the south coast and the pitch looks sun-soaked. The away section will be singing about Wembley today and the players owe them a spirited performance for their loyalty on the road. They have been fantastic, particularly in the last few months.


(Image: Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images.)


United’s uninspiring Brighton record

United have struggled when it has come to facing Brighton & Hove Albion in the last couple of years, last beating them in regulation time in February 2022 under Ralf Rangnick.


United’s only triumph over them since then was in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at Wembley last year, getting the better of them on penalties after a goalless stalemate.


Brighton have won each of the last four league meetings between the two sides and are aiming to do the double over them for the second season running.


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How to follow Brighton vs United

United’s trip to the Amex Stadium this afternoon is not among the games that have been selected for live TV broadcast in the UK.


Alternatively, you can follow the game with us on this live blog. We will bring you regular updates and all of the post-match reaction.


(Image: Charlie Crowhurst – The FA/The FA via Getty Images.)


The final Premier League dance

After nine months and 37 rounds of fixtures, the final day of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign is upon us. The title race is yet to be decided and the final relegation spot is yet to be claimed, despite it looking almost impossible for it to be reluctantly accepted by anyone but Luton Town.


For United, however, full focus is on trying to secure a place in Europe for next season. United head into this afternoon’s tussle with Brighton & Hove Albion eighth in the table, level on points with seventh-placed Newcastle United. However, the Magpies have a far superior goal difference.


It means United must better Newcastle’s result this afternoon to finish inside the top-seven and avoid recording their lowest-ever finish in the Premier League era. Newcastle are facing Brentford away from home.


United, of course, can still qualify for the Europa League, but that requires them to beat Manchester City in next Saturday’s FA Cup final.


(Image: 2024 Manchester United FC)


Good afternoon!

Hello, everyone, and welcome along to the Manchester Evening News’ live coverage of United’s final Premier League fixture of the 2023/24 campaign.


The Reds will be determined to end their league campaign on a high after their midweek victory over Newcastle United when they face Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium this afternoon.


Speaking of Newcastle, United must better their result today to stand any chance of securing European qualification for next season.


We will keep you posted with all the very latest from the Amex Stadium and further afield throughout the afternoon. There is no need to refresh the page, updates should appear automatically.


(Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images.)


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