Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester UnitedFA Cup, KO: 16:30 Apr 23, 2023, Wembley
BRIGHTON and Hove Albion will be licking their lips at the thought of getting stuck into Manchester United's dismal defence in this FA Cup semi-final after watching the Red Devils crash out of Europe with a comical display.
Man United's hopes of claiming a cup treble in Erik ten Hag's first season went up in smoke as they stumbled to a 3-0 loss against Sevilla in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.
Keeper David De Gea turned in arguably the worst display of his career while Harry Maguire's horror blunder helped hand Sevilla their opener on a night when ten Hag's side badly let down our man Mark.
Luke Shaw also seemed to pick up a knock and that's the last thing United needed ahead of Wembley, with Maguire suspended and Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez both crocked.
Manchester United's patchwork defence now has to face one of the most vibrant attacks in England this season, with Brighton and Hove Albion purring under Roberto De Zerbi.
The Seagulls are flying high in the Premier League and still have an outside chance of breaking into the top four as they head down the home straight. But fans are also dreaming of lifting the FA Cup for the first time as they prepare to head to Wembley.
Brighton might never get a better chance to beat Manchester United in a semi-final, having already claimed the scalp of Liverpool. But if they manage to see off ten Hag's men then it's likely mighty Manchester City will await them in the final, with Pep Guardiola's men heavy favourites to see off Sheffield United in the other semi.
Lifting the trophy is a tall order, with the Seagulls as big as 11/2 with QuinnBet in the outright market, but this group of players have made a habit of upsetting the odds.
How the bookies view it
With Manchester United missing so many players in defence, Brighton are the favourites to reach the semi-final at a best 4/5 with Unibet. That's not great value but you can get a decent 7/5 with the same firm on a win inside 90 minutes. The Red Devils are 23/20 with Paddy Power to reach the semis and 19/10 at Ladbrokes to finish the job without extra time. The draw at 90 minutes is 11/4 with SpreadEx.
Recent head to head
Brighton and Hove Albion ruined ten Hag's Old Trafford debut as they claimed a 2-1 win on the opening day of the Premier League season. That followed a 4-0 battering of United at the Amex last season but the Red Devils held the upper hand before that, winning seven in a row against the Seagulls.
Players to watch
Danny Welbeck should lead the line for Brighton against his boyhood club after Irish wonderkid Evan Ferguson picked up an injury in the win over Chelsea last weekend. The former England striker is 3/1 at William Hill for anytime scorer which looks a bit overpriced.
The one positive for Manchester United on Thursday night was Marcus Rashford stepping off the bench to make his return from injury. The winger is 39/20 at Unibet to add to his 31-goal tally this term.
Anything else catch the eye?
Backing over 4.5 Brighton shots on goal paid off for me last weekend at Chelsea as a full house of tips landed. They had 26 attempts in total, with 10 on target, and I expect them to attack a Manchester United side with such a makeshift defence. You have to go to over 5.5 Brighton shots on target to find value here at 6/5 with Unibet while over 14.5 attempts at goal from the Seagulls pays 19/20.
Both sides have been racking up plenty of corners this season so I like the 5/4 on offer at Paddy Power for over 10.5 corners at Wembley. We could also see a few cards and Aaron Wan-Bissaka looks a bit overpriced at 27/5 with Unibet given he may be up against the electric Kaoru Mitoma.
This FA Cup match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United will be played on Apr 23, 2023 and kick off at 16:30. Check below for our tipsters best Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester United prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.