By 90Min
November 24, 2017

Manchester United were last toppled by a promoted side 20 years ago, when Derby County beat the Red Devils 3-2, but can Chris Hughton's Brighton repeat the feat in 2017?

On paper, as is often the case for many sides against United, the odds sit in the home side's favour, but football is all about surprises.

After a strong start to their debut season in the Premier League, sitting in a solid ninth position, can Brighton break a 20 year record against United on Saturday?

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Classic Encounter

There is only one outstanding date when looking at these two sides' very limited number of confrontations in the past, especially when the latest was back in 1993.

Jimmy Melia's Brighton met Ron Atkinson's United at Wembley in the FA Cup final of 1982-83 and after a period of extra-time the game ended 2-2 - with goals from Gordon Smith and Gary Stephens for Brighton and Frank Stapleton and Ray Wilkins for United.

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Gary Stephens' late 87th-minute equaliser flattened United fans' dreams on the day, with 99,000 fans in attendance at Wembley. 

The match was contested again in a replay, in what was the third successive FA Cup final to be feature a second game.

And five days later at the same venue, the Red Devils made short work of Melia's side, running out 4-0 winners as Norman Whiteside, Arnold Muhren and a brace from Bryan Robson sealed the trophy.


Form

With United having stumbled in their previous five before last weekend - winning two, drawing one and losing two - things were beginning to look a little bleak in Mourinho's search for the Premier League title.

Last week's emphatic result against Newcastle brought some optimism back to the Old Trafford faithful but, with Manchester City still eight points ahead in the title chase, United need a win against Brighton to stay within touching distance of their rivals. 

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Chris Hughton's Brighton find themselves in a great spell of undefeated form too, having won two and drawn three of their last five.

With points the all important statistic come the end of the season, Hughton will be aware that picking up points wherever possible will be key to survival.

But with such a solid start to the campaign under their belts and confidence sky high, Brighton should rightly believe they can take something from United this weekend.


Team News

Team news is relatively positive for both sides heading into the meeting, with United recently strengthened by the returns of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo.

Eric Bailly could return to action on Saturday but fellow centre-back Phil Jones (thigh) is set to miss out.

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Hughton also has no fresh injury concerns for his Albion side.

Steve Sidwell is still sidelined and remains the only player missing for the visitors as they bring a near full-strength side to Old Trafford.  


Prediction

Brighton's current spell of undefeated form is a stat that cannot be forgotten, with the side quietly climbing the Premier League table.

They will be carrying confidence to Old Trafford and that will make them a difficult outfit to beat.

If United play with the lack of intensity they did in midweek against Basel in the Champions League it could prove to be a challenging day for the home side.

But if Lukaku and co are up for the fight and take their chances, there could be another four goals on the books for Mourinho's men.

With such strength present in United's team, it should be another three points for the Red Devils. 

Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Brighton

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