Alexis Mac Allister in the shop window as Brighton faces Manchester United in FA Cup

Brighton is the only club still left in the English FA Cup which has not won the world’s oldest football trophy.

It faces an uphill task against 12-time winner Manchester United, while the other semifinal sees Manchester City playing Sheffield United.

The Brighton-United semifinal on Sunday (11.30pm), is also noteworthy as the Red Devils are after Seagulls’ midfielder Alexis Mac Allister.

An Argentine with an unlikely Scottish name, Mac Allister helped his country win last year’s World Cup, providing the pass that saw Angel Di Maria score against France.

The final ended 2-2 after 90 minutes, and 3-3 after extra time. Argentina won the trophy for the third time by winning the spot kick contest, 4-2.

Mac Allister was one of the players in that tournament and has carried on his good form back in England with Brighton.

He is a dynamic midfielder who can play centrally and defensively. When Graham Potter was in charge of Brighton, he frequently paired the Argentine with Moises Caicedo in a two-man defensive role.

However, he moved to a more advanced position after the appointment of attacking-minded manager Roberto De Zerbi in September.

The decision paid off as the playmaker has 10 goals this season – eight in the English Premier League, and two in the FA Cup.

Besides United, Liverpool, City, Arsenal, and Chelsea are also interested in his services. Now valued at £60 million, a bidding war could see his transfer price rise close to nine figures.

United, however, could have an edge, as its defender, Lisandro Martinez, is Mac Allister’s Argentine teammate.

The Red Devils hope to bounce back in the FA Cup after it was eliminated by Sevilla in the Europa Cup quarterfinals early this morning..

City, meanwhile, is still on course for the treble after beating Bayern Munich 4-1 on aggregate in the Champions League.

It faces Real Madrid in the semifinals of that competition and is four points behind Arsenal in the EPL, having played a game less.

It should have no problems fending off Sheffield United, the only team not from the top division.

The Blades are second in the Championship and only need five points from its last four matches to return to the EPL.

Meanwhile, Arsenal hopes to put its recent stumbles in the league firmly behind it when it faces bottom-placed Southampton tomorrow (3am).

The Gunners drew 2-2 against Liverpool and West Ham after winning seven games on the trot, and should return to winning ways against a side that has lost four of its last five matches.

Arsenal has 74 points from 31 matches, with City on 70. The title decider could come on April 27 (3am), when City hosts Arsenal.

FIXTURES (Malaysian time)


Arsenal vs Southampton (3am)
Fulham vs Leeds (7.30pm)
Crystal Palace vs Everton (10pm)
Liverpool vs Nottingham Forest (10pm)
Brentford vs Aston Villa (10pm)
Leicester vs Wolves (10pm)

Newcastle vs Tottenham (9pm)
Bournemouth vs West Ham (9pm)

FA Cup (Semifinals)

Manchester City vs Sheffield United (11.45pm)

Brighton vs Manchester United (11.30pm)

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