Yet again this season Manchester United will be in need of a statement performance after suffering a humbling setback away to Sevilla in midweek, with the Red Devils having crashed out of the Europa League at the hands of the six-time winners of the competition.

footballfancast video of the day

After early season maulings against the likes of Brentford and Manchester City - as well as more recent, grim outings away to Liverpool and Newcastle United - United have regularly had to react to adversity so far this term, with Erik ten Hag likely hoping his side can once again bounce back ahead of today's FA Cup showdown with Brighton and Hove Albion.

Following Thursday's inexcusable collapse in Andalusia, this afternoon's semi-final clash provides the Old Trafford outfit with their last route to further silverware this season, having already claimed Carabao Cup glory back in February.

That previous Wembley experience may stand Ten Hag's men in good stead this time around, although the Dutchman will likely have been concerned by what he saw at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, with alterations needed to ensure a repeat performance does not occur.

One key tweak that the former Ajax boss could make may lie in the forward ranks, with misfiring dud, Jadon Sancho arguably undeserving of another chance to feature from the start, having been "hiding" against the La Liga outfit last time out, according to Manchester Evening News journalist, Samuel Luckhurst.

Will Sancho start against Brighton?

We at Football FanCast had noted prior to Thursday's capitulation that it may be in United's best interests to ditch the Englishman from the starting XI, with Sancho having subsequently gone on to underwhelm yet again in Spain, after being withdrawn at half-time in place of the returning Marcus Rashford.

As the Independent's Jamie Braidwood suggested, the 23-year-old simply 'didn't look ready for the occasion' against Jose Mendilibar's side, with club legend Paul Scholes echoing that viewpoint, stating that the winger needed to "liven up" from the off.

Those woes were laid bare by the fact that the £73m man lost possession on seven occasions from just 30 touches in his 45-minute outing, having also won just three of his seven total duels to illustrate his inability to do the hard yards defensively.


As the aforementioned Luckhurst wrote in his post-match player ratings piece for MEN, the 5 foot 11 wide man played as if he was on 'borrowed time' with Rashford lurking on the bench, with Ten Hag almost inevitably making the decision to carry out an early change at the break.

With the likes of Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho having been absent of late it had been an ideal chance for Sancho to step up to the mark, although aside from his assist for Scott McTominay in the win over Everton, the struggling asset has little to show for his extended run in the side.

As such, for all the possible wisdom in giving the fleet-forward forward a consistent run on the flanks in order to try and spark a change in fortunes, Ten Hag - and United - can't afford to carry any passengers against a rampant, Seagulls outfit this afternoon.