Match Previews

Match Preview: Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth

Resounding victories either side of Christmas Day have made it a fabulous festive period so far for United, as Bournemouth visit Old Trafford to begin the second half of the Premier League season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s appointment continues to look an inspired one; whereas opposing boss Eddie Howe will envy The Baby-Faced Assassin’s recent achievements – with his side sitting on a record of two wins & seven defeats in their last nine league games.

It could be three wins on the bounce for Solskjær’s men, as 2018 draws to a close.

Kick-off: 16:30 [GMT]
Venue: Old Trafford
Referee: Lee Mason

UK television channel: Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League

Reverse fixture: 3/11/18 – Bournemouth (Wilson) 1-2 United (Martial, Rashford)

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The Cherries

Position: 11th

Recent form: LWLLL

Top scorer: Callum Wilson [8]

Most assists: Ryan Fraser [8]

One to watch: David Brooks

Previous result: Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 AFC Bournemouth

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

Lewis Cook – Cruciate ligament (next season)
Simon Francis – Cruciate ligament (next season)
Dan Gosling – knee (two weeks)
Adam Smith – knee (six weeks)

Expected lineup

(3-4-2-1) Begović; Cook, Aké, Mings; Brooks, Surman, Lerma, Daniels; Fraser, King; Wilson.

Quote from the boss

“Sunday will be a tough game, whenever you go to Old Trafford it’s a tough assignment. We’re looking forward to rising to the challenge, they’ve had two good results.” – Eddie Howe

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Next match: Watford [H] 2/1/19

The Red Devils

Talking points

Three goals against a resilient Huddersfield Town side meant that Wednesday was a memorable day back “home” for Solskjær – who stuck to his word and rotated but guaranteed the win with changes early in the second half. Rotation is expected again for the last outing of the year.

2018 has certainly been a frustrating year at United, with all sorts of distressing things occurring from start to finish. However, the new year offers hope with plenty of things to be optimistic about.

Bournemouth club captain Simon Francis will be out for six to nine months with a serious ACL injury, which will cause issues at right back (due to him being the club stalwart there).

Anthony Martial was absent for the Boxing Day win; but himself, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sánchez are in contention to return – possibly giving Marcus Rashford a break from being the focal point.

Nemanja Matić scored the opening goal in midweek, although may be rested despite improved displays.

Angel Gomes was given 14 minutes towards the end of the game and impressed, but may well start in a few weeks time against Reading in the FA Cup third round – a game Mason Greenwood was reportedly been told to ‘get ready’ for. DJ Buffonge and Ro-Shaun Williams were also spotted training on Friday morning.

Solskjær also confirmed in his press conference that Antonio Valencia will remain as club captain; wearing the armband whenever he starts a match.

No clean sheet (again) will have frustrated David De Gea, who pulled off another world class save that was the ‘key moment’ in the encounter last time out according to Solskjær.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Marcos Rojo – knock (unknown)
  • Chris Smalling – foot (two weeks)

Expected lineup

(4-3-3) De Gea; Young, Bailly, Lindelöf, Shaw; Herrera, Pereira, Pogba; Lingard, Lukaku, Martial.

Quote from the boss

“When you win, everyone is happy so let’s just keep that run going. We’ve got to focus on our performance against Bournemouth and get three points because the last two games have been fantastic” – Ole Gunnar Solskjær

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Next match: Newcastle United [H] 2/1/19

Potential key battles

– Romelu Lukaku vs Steve Cook

– Jesse Lingard vs Jefferson Lerma

– Victor Lindelöf vs Callum Wilson

Match facts [credit: FotMob]

  • United are unbeaten in each of the last six Premier League games against Bournemouth since their defeat in their first ever league meeting (W5 D1)
  • Bournemouth have won just two of their 15 previous matches against United in all competitions (D3 L10)
  • The Red Devils are looking to secure three consecutive Premier League victories for the first time since a run of five in April
  • The Cherries have won just eight points from 63 available away against ‘big six’ sides in the Premier League (W2 D2 L17)

Enjoy the match!

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