Premier League Odds, Picks, Predictions, Preview, Best Bets: Brighton Hoping to Stun Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United
Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Brighton & Hove Albion take on Manchester United in Saturday's intriguing Premier League meeting.
- The Seagulls are hoping to secure a career-best finish in the EPL standings, while the Red Devils might have motivational issues.
- Anthony Dabbundo takes a deep dive into this contest below and explains why he backing Brighton to get a result on home soil.
Brighton vs. Man United Odds
|Man United Odds||+160|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBC | Peacock Premium | fuboTV|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Relative to club size and budgets, Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United have had different seasons. And the Seagulls have a chance to take one step closer to the best season in their history with a good result in Saturday’s Premier League home match against the Red Devils.
It’s been a year of disappointment for United, which crashed out of Europe and have struggled in league play. The Red Devils put in an excellent performance to cap off a disappointing home season last week, earning a 3-0 shutout win against Brentford this past Monday at Old Trafford.
United has almost no chance at making the top four and returning to the Champions League. The club also has a lame-duck interim manager in Ralf Rangnick, with successor Erik ten Hag hired and waiting to take over. For most of last month, it’s appeared United was going through the motions.
Brighton ran through the gauntlet of difficult EPL foes and managed to get six points from three matches against Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City. The Seagulls, who followed that up with a 3-0 win at Wolverhampton last weekend, have a chance for the best finish in their history with a strong run of results in their final three matches.
Brighton Hoping for Historic EPL Finish
The Seagulls have been an excellent underdog the entire season. They got results against Liverpool, tied Chelsea twice and defeated Arsenal and Spurs. When Brighton faces teams who play with higher lines, press up the pitch and don’t sit in lower blocks, it passing structure and technical quality shine.
Brighton has its issues — not having enough shots or dynamic attackers to break down more defensive sides is a big one — but the side is finally enjoying the period of positive finishing regression that it has very much deserved the last two seasons.
My projections have had Brighton as a top-half team for the better part of the last 1 1/2 seasons and a recent winning run has it sitting in ninth place. There’s no chance of going to Europe or more than one spot higher, but the Seagulls has never finished better than 13th place.
Brighton is -0.09 xG difference per 90 minutes is worse than last campaign, but it’s still an average EPL team. From a ball-progression perspective, the defense is a legitimate top-six unit and far better than United’s back line. The Seagulls are sixth in box entries allowed, third in big scoring chances conceded and don’t let teams easily progress the ball up the pitch against them.
Brighton wins with defense first, as the attack can have some issues. The club is top eight at getting into the penalty area, but ranks just 16th in non-penalty xG difference per 90 minutes. The attack is due for some positive regression based on those numbers, though, and the Seagulls are at just 34 goals scored from 39.4 xG overall.
Motivation Becoming Concern for Man United
Manchester United barely ranks above average at +0.03 xG difference per 90 minutes. The Red Devils have conceded as many chances as they’ve created and now they’re facing a bit of an injury crisis.
Luke Shaw, Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford are out and that’s a lot of ball progression, counterattacking ability and threat in behind missing from the visitors. They had an excellent showing against Brentford without any of these pieces, but the losses of Sancho, Pogba and Rashford takes away United’s threat getting in behind the Brighton press and higher defensive line.
United is below average defensively and struggle to defend set pieces, which are areas Brighton has been dangerous in this season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I have Manchester United projected as a better team, but the gap is small enough that once you factor in home-field advantage, the Seagulls should be favored.
My projections make Brighton -115 on the Draw No Bet line in this match and I think the host is undervalued to be an underdog.
When these clubs played earlier this season, Brighton was the better side in the first half before a United goal and red card flipped the match on its head. The Seagulls had the better chances prior to that, and the Red Devils were healthier and playing much better at the time.
Right now, Brighton is the side and at -110 odds or better on the Draw No Bet wager, the club is quite undervalued yet again.
Pick: Brighton — Draw No Bet (-110 or better)