Paul Pogba will captain Manchester United when they take on Brighton this Sunday, after Jose Mourinho confirmed Antonio Valencia is unlikely to feature despite resuming training following an injury in preseason.
Mourinho will be looking for more of the same from the Frenchman after a solid display last Friday against Leicester, and despite media reports about a fractured relationship between the two, Mourinho is adamant that there is no rift.
“He’s working extremely well here, but I have to say in his defence that write what you want about him, write what you want about me, please don’t say lies.
“Please don’t put him in a situation where people can think he’s not a polite, educated guy, which he is…The truth is we are together for two years and I’ve never been so happy with him as I am now.”
United Team News: Despite training on Thursday, this fixture comes too early for either Antonio Valencia or Nemanja Matic to feature, while Mourinho’s squad will be bolstered by the late World Cup returnees who will be edging closer to full fitness.
Ander Herrera, Diego Dalot, Marcos Rojo, and Sergio Romero all remained sidelined with injury.
Brighton Team News: Jason Steele, Jose Izquierdo, and Florin Andone are unavailable for Chris Hughton’s side in addition to their captain Bruno who suffered a hamstring injury during their 2-0 loss to Watford.
Did You Know?
– Brighton have won their last two home league games against Manchester United, with these games being spaced almost 36 years apart (1-0 in November 1982, 1-0 in May 2018).
– Manchester United failed to score in their last two away league games of 2017-18, including a 0-1 loss at Brighton. They last went three without a goal on the road in the Premier League in April 2005.
– Pogba has been involved in 26 league goals (12 goals, 14 assists) under Jose Mourinho, more than any other Man Utd player.
– Brighton’s Pascal Gross has had a hand in six goals in his last seven Premier League games at the Amex Stadium (3 goals, 3 assists).
– Romelu Lukaku has scored against 17 of the current 20 Premier League sides – Brighton are one of the three he’s yet to score against (along with Cardiff and Wolves).
Referee: Kevin FriendAssistants: Stuart Burt, Matthew WilkesFourth official: Graham Scott