Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth Preview

Image result for manchester united vs bournemouth      After the despondent loss to City on Sunday, we are back to Premier League action. This time we take on AFC Bournemouth. The match is a usual late kick off, midweek at Old Trafford. With our title hopes more or less dead, I would still rather see us finish second than third or fourth. "Putting the pressure on" is widely laughed at and bantered but at this point, we can do no better.

      Despite the loss, we have an amazing record at home and I do not expect that to change because of the City game. We still need to keep our good run going and gather momentum for the Champions League. We can use this game for as a test of character and maybe a confidence booster. Especially without Pogba, this game will not be a straightforward one. The players really need to step up and put a performance out there.

      Bournemouth are one of the teams that I really like and respect, personally. Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth side are a symbol of stability and resilience. Them winning the Championship and entering the Premier League for the first time a couple of years ago, was enough for people to write them off. But they have really matched the competition and manage to avoid relegation, often upsetting a major team too. Their manager, Eddie Howe, has the perfect club for him. In the sense, I don't think he is good enough for a job at one of the top 6, at the same time, I don't think he is bad enough to manage one of the relegation candidates.

      The Cherries play a 4-4-1-1 formation with Joshua King playing the number 10 role right behind either Callum Wilson or Jermaine Defoe. Given the fact that Defoe scored a brace against Palace, I think he will start against us. They have a back four that has conceded fewer goals (19) than Arsenal and Liverpool (20 each). However, the catch here is that they do not keep too many clean sheets (4). So scoring goals, unlike last season shouldn't be much of a problem once we do create them. 


      Where we can win the match is in midfield. Lingard needs to press their deep lying midfielder, either Lewis Cook or Harry Arter and force them to make mistakes like we did against Arsenal. Because they have conceded a lot when the defence has been left falt footed. Martial and Rashford can do a good job at punishing fullbacks for making premature runs.

      Defending should not be a problem. However, they will look to make the best of set pieces and we conceded two goals against City through set pieces. We need to clear our lines before any threat can be caused by their lingering players. So that's about it for Bournemouth.

      I really hope Lukaku gets back into goal-scoring form again because going into tough Champions League fixtures and a packed schedule in winter with your best striker out of form, will be a major drawback for us. In the post match blog of the derby game and multiple times on twitter, I called for Lukaku to get dropped. But I feel now that once he starts scoring, he'll get his confidence back. In midfield, Herrera needs to pull up his socks and regain last season's form. Showing excessive passion is good and that is what endears him to the fans but he needs to get the job done as well.

      So that's it for the preview. Let us know what you think about the game and hit us with your predictions for the game! 

Predicted line-up: De Gea; Smalling, Lindelof, Jones; Valencia, Herrera, Lingard, Matic, Shaw; Martial, Lukaku.

Predicted Score: 3-0 (Lukaku brace, Lingard)

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