Manchester United vs Bournemouth Preview

2023 has plenty to offer, especially for Manchester United who begin the New Year at home to Bournemouth. United are on a five game winning streak following a disastrous collapse against Aston Villa in what was Ronaldo’s last game for the club. United have since scored 12 goals in five competitive games and look in good spirits following a Rashford winner at Molineux on New Year’s Eve. The team had to scrap and work hard but even though the performance was slightly questionable, it was certainly a big win and one that moved United back into the Top Four and with a game in hand on Newcastle above them.

Bournemouth have seemed to drop off after their brief honeymoon period following their 9-0 loss to Liverpool and sacking of Scott Parker. However, one league win in their last nine games has left them two points off the relegation zone and with the second worst goal difference in the league. It won’t be an easy game with the physical presences of Kieffer Moore and Dominic Solanke but United should be raring to go and score a few. Here’s all you need to know:

Manchester United vs Bournemouth Match Information:

Teams: Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth
Date: Tuesday 3rd January 2023
KO Time: 20:00 GMT
Location: Old Trafford
Managers: Erik ten Hag and Gary O’Neil
Referee: Michael Salisbury

Team News:

Manchester United

Axel Tuanzebe is the only Manchester United player certain to be out. Scott McTominay is recovering from an illness and may be ready. Diogo Dalot and Lisandro Martinez have been in training and could be part of the squad against Bournemouth. Jadon Sancho has returned to Manchester to continue his individual training but it remains to be seen if he is match-ready. Providing Rashford doesn’t oversleep, he is certain to start.

Bournemouth

Phillip Billing came off in Bournemouth’s 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace and is a major doubt for the Cherries. David Brooks and former-Barcelona man, Norberto Neto will both miss the game with long-term injuries. Ryan Fredericks, Marcus Tavernier and Junior Stanislas are all unlikely to feature.

Interesting Facts:

  • Manchester United have played Bournemouth 10 times in the Premier League era. They have won seven, drawn once and lost twice, scoring 22 goals. They have never lost at home to Bournemouth.
  • Marcus Rashford has scored in three of his last four games against Bournemouth, one of which was a stoppage time winner in 2018.
  • Bruno Fernandes has created 40 chances in the Premier League this season, no one for Manchester United is close to creating as many (Eriksen with 21 and Dalot with 20).

Manchester United Predicted XI vs Bournemouth:

I expect only a couple of changes at the back for United. I don’t anticipate that Dalot will be ready to feature and with the aggression and physicality Bournemouth have up front, Harry Maguire will raise a lot of questions if he doesn’t play. Luke Shaw should slot back to the left as his attacking output has been sorely missed in a couple of impressive performances at centre back.

In midfield, no changes should be necessary as even though Eriksen had a not-so-great performance, his creativity will be needed. Out wide, Rashford should return out on the left. Antony has been rather inconsistent since returning from the World Cup and could come out for Elanga. But I expect the Brazilian could be given one more chance before the cup rotations. Up front, Martial is the only option and one United fans aren’t disappointed about.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial

Predicted Score:

Bournemouth have struggled to create chances but even so, forged four shots on Chelsea’s goal in their 2-0 defeat during the Boxing Day fixtures. United have to be wary and not switch off. However, defensively, Bournemouth have little they can do if United are as dynamic and electric as they have demonstrated recently. What they are struggling to do is put the ball in the net. If they have the same ruthlessness Liverpool had earlier this season, it could be nine tomorrow. But I expect United will score four for the first competitive game of the Erik ten Hag era.

United to win 4-0

Author: Arjun Handa

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