restart for Manchester United post-lockdown is well underway and as the
Red Devils look to stretch their fantastic 15 game unbeaten run and chase down
both Chelsea and Leicester for the cherished guaranteed Champions League spot for
next season. The upcoming gameweeks
really will be a true test of character for the teams involved both at the top
and bottom end of the league.
opinion Solskjaer has manged to motivate his team and the comfortable mid-week
result of 3-0 at Brighton was truly something for all Manchester United fans to get
excited about. The team was focused and seemed to be in complete control. The
pace and vision as well as the link up play, and technique was wonderful to
watch. Bruno Fernandes has been an inspirational player and definitely seems to
be the missing link that Man United desperately needed. I look forward to the Pogba and Fernandes
combination in action.
Teams: Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth
: Saturday 04 July 2020
Time: 15:00 GMT
: Old Trafford
Ole Gunner Solskjaer and Eddie Howe
Both teams desperately need a result as Bournemouth are fighting for survival and United have to get the win to keep the pressure on Chelsea and Leicester. Wolves are also very much still in the hunt for the Top Four positions and are level on points with United with only goal difference separating the sides. United have not conceded in five straight home games and Old Trafford is beginning to get that fear factor it had during Sir Alex’s reign and United have been as prolific as they have been defensively solid, scoring 13 times in those matches. In contrast, Bournemouth have really struggled since the Premier League resumption and the Cherries were comprehensively beaten by Newcastle United in a heavy 4-1 loss at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday, their fourth defeat in a row and have only had two shots on target in the last three matches. Bournemouth are now winless in seven matches, their last victory came against 18th place Aston Villa at the start of February. Despite the Cherries poor run of form it needs to be remembered that in November in the reverse fixture Bournemouth did manage to get a 1-0 victory over Ole’s Reds with the winner scored by Josh King after a host of misses by the away side.
Bournemouth will be without Charlie Daniels and Simon Francis both are still struggling with injury. Callum Wilson will also not be available due to suspension as a result of collecting 10 yellow cards.
Manchester United’s manager has a near fully-fit squad to pick from but I do not think there would be many changes from the team that lined up against Brighton. Solskjaer has stated that “there’s a couple that got some knocks, bruises, so if there are a couple of changes don’t be surprised just because of fitness” and so may be tempted to rest Bruno Fernandes, as he has played a lot of minutes in the past week including 120 minutes against Norwich. He has been such a key player he may manage his minutes carefully. If Solskjaer decides to freshen up the squad he may decide to go with with the likes of Daniel James for Mason Greenwood but I do think their will be minimal changes to the team.
- This will be Manchester United’s tenth league appearance with Bournemouth after their promotion in 2015 and United have lost twice, drawn once and won six times, the first game was a 2-1 loss at Dean Court and the latest result was a 1-0 loss again at Dean Court but United are unbeaten at Old Trafford (W3, D1).
- Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford remain on 19 goals each this season, the last time two players scored 20+ goals in one season for United was in 2010/11 with Hernandez (20) and Berbatov (21) respectively.
- Paul Pogba registered his third assist of the season for Fernandes’ first goal against Brighton and that took him to 50 goal contributions in 105 Premier League matches
- Bournemouth have only registered one goal and two shots on target in their last three games.
- Josh King scored the winner against Manchester United earlier this season and has scored three of Bournemouth’s eight goals against Manchester United in the Premier League, more than any other Cherries player.
Predicted Lineup: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire (c), Shaw, Pogba, Matic, James, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial
Predicted Score: 3-0 to United