Quick Hits for Brighton vs Man United
- According to the Opta supercomputer, Brighton & Hove Albion are the favorites to upset Manchester United and advance to the FA Cup final.
- The Seagulls have a 41.3% chance of winning the match in normal time, compared to Manchester United’s 31.6%.
- However, it’s worth noting that Manchester United have won all five previous FA Cup matches against Brighton, including the 1983 final.
Brighton will be aiming to make history by winning an FA Cup tie against Manchester United, something they have never done before. United have won all five previous FA Cup meetings against the Seagulls, with their most recent encounter being in the 2017-18 quarter-finals.
However, Brighton have won their last two competitive matches against Manchester United, both under former manager Graham Potter, with a combined score of 6-1.
Manchester United have more experience in FA Cup semi-finals than any other team. This will be their 31st FA Cup semi-final match. After winning 13 consecutive semi-finals between 1976 and 2007, they have lost three of their last five, including a defeat to Chelsea in 2020.
This is Brighton’s third FA Cup semi-final appearance. They reached the final in 1983 after defeating Sheffield Wednesday but lost to eventual winners Manchester City in 2019. In 1983, they drew the first game 2-2 with Man Utd at Wembley before losing the replay 4-0.
In fact, Brighton’s matches against Man Utd in the 1983 final marked the beginning of their poor run of form at Wembley Stadium. They have never won a competitive game at Wembley, drawing one and losing four of their five visits.
Manchester United are facing an injury crisis in defence for this semi-final, with Lisandro Martinez out for the rest of the season due to a metatarsal injury, and centre-back partner Raphael Varane also unavailable. Donny van de Beek is out of their midfield, while Scott McTominay is unlikely to be passed fit. However, Bruno Fernandes returns to the squad after serving a suspension in Thursday’s Europa League defeat to Sevilla.
Meanwhile, Adam Lallana, Evan Ferguson, Joel Veltman, Jason Steele, Jeremy Sarmiento, and Tariq Lamptey will all miss the semi-final due to injuries for Brighton.
Manchester United suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat to La Liga side Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night in Spain, with errors from David de Gea and Harry Maguire contributing to their downfall. They had led the tie 2-0 with just six minutes remaining in the first leg at Old Trafford before two late own goals saw Sevilla take the tie back to Seville level.
The good news for United fans is that they have only suffered back-to-back competitive defeats once this season, in their first two games of 2022-23 against Brighton and Brentford in the Premier League.
United have won their last three matches against Premier League opposition without conceding a single goal, defeating Brentford 1-0 and Everton 2-0 at Old Trafford before a 2-0 away win at Nottingham Forest last weekend. In these games, all five of their goals came from a different player: Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial, Antony, and Diogo Dalot.
Brighton come into this match in great form, having lost just one of their last nine games. Even in that defeat, 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur on 8 April, Brighton dominated for large spells and arguably deserved to win the game. Their 2-1 win at Chelsea last weekend came after falling behind, with Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso scoring the goals to turn the game around in their favor.
In 2023, no Premier League club has lost fewer games (two) or had a lower loss ratio (11.8%) than Brighton in all competitions. Manchester United has won the most competitive games of Premier League clubs in 2023 (19 of 28), but they have also played five more games than any other side. However, their win ratio is the second-best (67.9%) behind only Man City (73.9%).
Man Utd has reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup after defeating Everton (third round), Reading (fourth round), West Ham United (fifth round), and Fulham (quarter-final). All four of these games have ended 3-1 and have been played at Old Trafford.
Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton side are in the semi-finals after eliminating Middlesbrough (third round), Liverpool (fourth round), Stoke City (fifth round), and Grimsby Town (quarter-final). They have only eliminated one fellow EPL side in the FA Cup this season, with a win over Liverpool in the fourth round at the Falmer Stadium. In FA Cup history, there have been just four occasions of a team eliminating both Liverpool and Manchester United in a single campaign, with three of these coming within the last 15 years (Wolves 1948-49, Everton 2008-09, Wolves 2018-19, Chelsea 2019-20).
Surprisingly, according to the Opta supercomputer, Brighton are the favorites to win this semi-final match with a higher chance of winning in normal time than Manchester United (41.3% vs. 31.6%) before kick-off. However, as an FA Cup game that requires a decision on the day, this match could easily go to extra time and even a penalty shootout, with our supercomputer predicting a 27.1% chance of the game ending level after 90 minutes at Wembley on Sunday.
Out of the 30 FA Cup semi-finals played at the new Wembley Stadium since 2008-09, only five have gone to extra time and two of them resulted in a penalty shootout. Everton vs Manchester United in 2009-10 is one example that ended in a 0-0 draw and saw Man Utd progress to the final following a 4-2 shootout win.
The winner of this match will face either Manchester City or Sheffield United in the FA Cup final on June 3 at Wembley Stadium in London.