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Man Utd vs Brighton – WSL: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Manchester United and Brighton meet as the WSL returns this weekend following a brief hiatus for the Continental Cup and October international break.

United, gunning for a top three finish and Champions League qualification, have kept pace with early leaders Arsenal so far, winning both of their opening games without conceding.

Brighton have had more of a mixed start and slumped to a heavy defeat at the hands of Arsenal on the opening night of the season following an early red card. But they bounced back against Reading the week after, a team United had also beaten.

Neither team will have been particularly happy with their Conti Cup results before pausing for internationals. United were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa after initially taking the lead and then losing a penalty shootout, while Brighton were beaten 3-2 by Championship side Birmingham.

As far as head to head games between the two go, United have won all three of their WSL home matches against Brighton, with the visitors yet to even score a goal. In total, the Red Devils have won four of six WSL fixtures, with one draw and a sole Seagulls win back in April 2021.

When is kick off? Sunday 16 October, 12:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Leigh Sports Village
TV channel/livestream? BBC Two/iPlayer (UK), FA Player (international)
What time does coverage start? 11:45 (BST)
Referee? Emily Heaslip

The big news is that Alessia Russo is unavailable to face her former club. She is back in training after suffering an injury that forced her miss England’s games against USA and Czech Republic, but isn’t ready to feature here.

One of Adriana Leon, Nikita Parris or Martha Thomas is likely to replace her. Veteran summer signing Rachel Williams is also in contention for a debut after recovering from a knee injury.

Skinner is unlikely to tinker with what had been an exceptional defensive unit so far, but there could be a rest for Hayley Ladd after playing 120 minutes twice for Wales.

Brighton boss Hope Powell reported no new injuries ahead of this one and declared all of those who represented national teams in the past 10 days as ‘fit and healthy’. She did however, comment on the ‘very tight turnaround’ with Thursday the first time the squad was back training together.

Megan Connolly has been nursing a rib injury since September, while Rebekah Stott is a longer-term absentee following ankle surgery last month.

Man Utd (4-3-3): Earps; Batlle, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Zelem, Moore, Toone; Garcia, Parris, Galton.

Brighton (4-3-3): Walsh; Fox, Williams, Kullberg, Pattinson; Bance, Olme, Sarri; Robinson, Lee, Terland.

The loss of Alessia Russo is a blow, but United spent the summer recruiting attacking players they hope to give them the depth to cope with situations such as this one.

Russo will be replaced by any of several international calibre players, while United have remained rock solid at the back and are extremely strong at home. Brighton won’t roll over, but a red win is on the cards.

Prediction: Man Utd 2-0 Brighton

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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