Paul Merson gives his prediction for Manchester United vs Brighton clash

Photo: Sky Sports

Paul Merson has backed Manchester United to beat Brighton in our first Premier League game of the season.

Manchester United take on Brighton at Old Trafford on Sunday, but much of the narrative in the build-up to the game has been about Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Erik ten Hag is in a catch-22 situation with Cristiano Ronaldo,” Merson told Sportskeeda.

“He’d probably want Ronaldo out to implement his plan, but he doesn’t have a replacement in the squad. It’s a massive kick in the teeth for the manager – this is Manchester United we’re talking about, and you’d think they’d have a proper centre-forward by now. If he stays, I’d play Ronaldo ahead of Martial every day of the week in the Premier League.

“In defence, I think Manchester United should play three at the back. Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof – I don’t think any of them are good enough to play in a back four.

“I think Brighton will go to Old Trafford and take the game to the hosts this week. They’re going to keep the ball and try to frustrate Manchester United. I’ll back United to win this one because they’ve got a new manager, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they drop points here.”

Merson’s prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

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