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Premier League Updated Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Prediction: Can Brighton & Hove Albion Stun Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United in EPL Opener? (Aug. 7)

Premier League Updated Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Prediction: Can Brighton & Hove Albion Stun Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United in EPL Opener? (Aug. 7) article feature image
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Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Man United vs. Brighton Odds

Man United Odds -165
Brighton Odds +475
Draw +290
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / -120)
Day | Time Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
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Odds updated as of Saturday evening via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Manchester United begins a new era under manager Eric Ten Hag when it hosts Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford in a Premier League clash.

The Red Devils are coming off a difficult season, where it finished in sixth place by a wide margin from the rest of the “Big Six” sides. Only a few summer signings have come in, so it’s likely going to be an uphill climb for them.

The Seagulls enter off their first top-half EPL finish in the club history, but have lost some key pieces like Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucarella. However, they’re poised to again challenge for a top-10 finish after ending up seventh in xGD last season.

Manchester United

A lot of changes have happened at United. Ten Hag is the new boss. Paul Pogba moved onto Juventus, plus Christian Eriksen and Leandro Martinez have joined the club.

Ten Hag’s system at Ajax was reliant on having a sound defensive midfielder in the 4-3-3 formation who can operate under pressure. That’s because when his side tried to build from the back, the central midfielder is the one dropping to create a back three, so the full backs can push out wide and get forward.

A ball-possessing midfielder that works well under pressure isn’t something United has at the moment, which is bad when you’re facing a team like Brighton that was fifth in PPDA and second in pressure success rate.

When out of possession, Ajax pressed high and in numbers because at times its shape in the opponent’s final third resulted a 3-2-5 formation. Having that many men forward helps win the ball back, but it also allows a team to be exposed in transition. That’s something United struggled with under Ralph Ragnick. So, I am not sure the team has the personnel to truly implement what ten Hag wants.

Then we arrive at the fact that Manchester United had a +0.3 xGDiff last season, which was eighth in the league. The Red Devils were also 12th in PPDA, 14th in pressure success rate and 14th in High Turnovers forced. So, the same personnel is suppose to become this possession dominant side that can press high and turn opponents over in their own final third of the pitch?

That might work against Bournemouth or Wolves, but not against Brighton, which was top six at playing through pressure last season. 

By The Numbers

  • +0.3 — Manchester United had this xGDiff last season, which was eighth best in the Premier League.
  • 12.89 — Manchester United’s PPDA under Ragnick, which was 12th in the English top flight.
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Brighton & Hove Albion

The Seagulls are the type of club you want to back against the top six. The reason they profile well against England’s best is the ability to press, play through pressure and control possession.

Brighton was fifth in PPDA, fourth in average possession and seventh in Offensive PPDA. Not to mention it only allowed 1.12 NPxG per match after losing Ben White at the start and then Dan Burn in the January window.

Brighton are dominating!

They now have a 2-0 lead over Manchester United. United's hopes of finishing top 4 are fading away.

📺: @NBC, @peacockTV, @NBCUniverso #BHAMUN | #MyPLMorning pic.twitter.com/IJDWJ1JUZ3

— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) May 7, 2022

 

The side did lose Cucurella and Bissouma, who are massive losses, but the system is still intact under manager Graham Potter. Also, Brighton chalked up a 4-0 win over United on May 7, holding a 2.8-0.8 xG edge as well.

The previous meeting at Old Trafford in January Brighton was out creating Manchester United 0.74 to 0.52 on xG until Ronaldo scored a defelection goal from outside the box and then Lewis Dunk got a red card, which put the game out of reach for the Seagulls

By The Numbers

  • 54.2 — This was the percentage Brighton had in terms of average possession during the 2021-22 season. Only Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea topped that mark.
  • 28 — The number of big scoring chanced allowed last season, which was the fifth-best mark in the Premier League.

Betting Analysis & Pick

In my opinion, the price on Manchester United is banana-land even if Brighton lost Bissouma and Cucurella. The Seagulls actually had a better xGDiff than the Red Devils last season, so why are they favored this much?

I only have United projected at +126, so I love Brighton getting +1 on the spread line via the Asian Handicap at -130 and would play it to -146 odds.

The Pick: Brighton +1 (-130)

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