Still dreaming of a domestic double in the 2022-23 campaign, Manchester United head to Wembley for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final date with Brighton & Hove Albion.
The victor of Saturday’s other semi between Manchester City and Sheffield United will await Sunday’s triumphant team in the showpiece match, as the Red Devils seek to avoid a pair of swift knockout eliminations after a disastrous night in Seville.
Incredibly, all four of Man United‘s FA Cup fixtures this term ended in 3-1 wins versus Everton, Reading, West Ham United and Fulham at Old Trafford – no team since Manchester City in 1925-26 has scored at least three goals in every game en route to the final – but their most recent Wembley outing for a semi-final ended in defeat to Chelsea in 2019-20.
While Wembley will be classed as a neutral venue this weekend, a record of two wins from their last six away from home does not make for pleasant reading for the travelling fans, whose side have failed to net in their last three defeats on unfamiliar territory.
Alternatively, an immediate response to Thursday’s gut-wrenching loss could see Man United reach a 21st FA Cup semi-final – matching Arsenal’s all-time record – and Brighton have never beaten the Red Devils in five FA Cup matches, but winning their last two Premier League games against them means that the Albion faithful can dare to dream.
As for an injury-riddled Man United, Ten Hag’s defensive crisis will be exacerbated by the absence of Harry Maguire, who is suspended for the semi-final after picking up his second FA Cup yellow card of the campaign in their chaotic win over Fulham.
With Lisandro Martinez (foot) and Raphael Varane (ankle) also sidelined, Victor Lindelof should be partnered by Luke Shaw, although the Englishman was not moving comfortably towards the end of the second leg with Sevilla and will need a once-over.
Tom Heaton and Alejandro Garnacho also remain out with their ankle problems alongside Donny van de Beek (knee), while Scott McTominay’s knock will require assessment in the next 48 hours, and the hapless Anthony Martial has emerged as a doubt after limping off early in the second half against Sevilla.
On a couple of cheery notes, Bruno Fernandes is back from a Europa League ban, while Marcus Rashford was fit enough for a second-half cameo in Seville and should now come into consideration for a start over Jadon Sancho. Bring on Brighton!
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Shaw, Malacia; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
Be the first to comment