Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth Preview

Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth Preview
Image result for man utd vs bournemouth
Image from Sky Sports
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has got two wins from two and now faces his second home game in a row against 12th place Bournemouth who have just endured a 5-0 loss to Spurs on Boxing Day with a brace from Son and goals from Kane, Eriksen and Lucas Moura. Eddie Howe's side came close to getting a result from United in early November after Callum Wilson's opener gave Bournemouth hope but goals from Martial in the first half and Rashford in the 92nd minute sealed three points for United that day. While Bournemouth were on an unbeaten run of five league games then, United are on the front foot going into this weekend's game after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's arrival and a rejuvinated side that plays attacking football. Both teams will play attacking football and use their pace in wide areas to trouble the respective struggling defences with both conceding 30+ goals in 19 games.

Image result for sanchez and lukaku
Alexis and Lukaku could feature against Bournemouth for
the first time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Image from the Daily Star
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Alexis, Lukaku and Martial will all be ready to face the Cherries. Scott McTominay and Marcos Rojo are not ready yet and may be able to step up theoir fitness by rejoining training and has suggested that Chris Smalling may be ready for the Spurs game at Wembley. I think that Alexis and Lukaku might end up beginning the game on the bench and Martial will probably start the game as Rashford and Lingard have been vital to Solskjaer's success and Martial was the star of the show against Cardiff and was sorely missed against Huddersfield. Fred and Diogo Dalot were taken off after 50 minutes at Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day and should not start against Bournemouth. Fred has not got the physicality to play in the Premier League yet and that showed against Huddersfield as Billing and Hadergjonaj pressed him and won the ball a fair few times and when Ander Herrera came on he played forward and pressed with energy and physicality and got an assist for the second goal. Dalot's crossing was not at its best against Huddersfield and got caught out by Isaac Mbenza a couple of times and came off for Ashley Young. The pace that Bournemouth have in wide areas could pose a problem for the Portuguese youngster and so Young should probably return as captain but after Ole's statement about Valencia retaining his captaincy, I could see the Ecuadorian starting for the first time since the 2-1 loss to Valencia.

As for Bournemouth, Simon Francis has been ruled out until next season and will be a blow for Eddie Howe with Bournemouth's other right back, Adam Smith also sidelined which could mean an inexperienced defender could be facing Martial on Sunday. Dan Gosling and Lewis Cook are both injured as well which thins out Bournemouth's midfield options to just Jefferson Lerma and Andrew Surman with Junior Stanislas forced to play as a LCM against Spurs. Lerma has already got a league high nine yellow cards and with United likely to have the majority of the possession and frustration might kick in and he could be suspended for Bournemouth's next two games.

Bournemouth are a dangerous side especially when they have lost so poorly against Tottenham mid-week and they know that United's defence is very poor at the moment. They have pace out wide and a natural goalscorer in Callum Wilson and could pose a danger to United on the counter. Pogba and Martial will be the difference for United with their link-up play likely to slice through Bournemouth's weakened defence. I think if Bailly plays instead of Phil Jones, United will get their clean sheet as, although he has played well since Solskjaer has come in but Bailly offers more pace and raw physicality than the Englishman and can deal with Wilson's pace better. If Bailly starts I am almost certain of a clean sheet.

Predicted Lineup: De Gea, Young (c), Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Martial, Rashford

PREDICTED SCORE: 4-0 to United


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