Manchester United travel to Dean Court in Saturday’s early kick off to take on a flying Bournemouth side that are unbeaten since September.
José Mourinho’s side go level on points with their hosts should they win on Saturday. Bournemouth meanwhile will have their eyes firmly fixed on Arsenal in fourth spot; the Gunners face a tricky fixture against Liverpool and the Cherries will be aware that maximum points at the weekend will put real pressure on Unai Emery’s side.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash:
How to Watch
Eddie Howe has no injury concerns of note and has a full strength squad to select from on Saturday. The Cherries mid-week victory in the League Cup over Norwich saw a much changed side fielded by Howe, though a return to the starting XI for key players Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson and David Brooks looks likely ahead of Saturday’s encounter.
Phil Jones is absent for the visitors, the defender remains sidelined with a hamstring injury sustained back in August. Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof look set to continue at centre-back in Jones’ absence. Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini are also slight doubts with respective mouth and groin injuries.
Head to Head Record
If past form is anything to go by, Saturday should be a comfortable win for the visitors. Mourinho’s side have won four of the last five league meetings between the two sides. The Red Devils’ most recent loss to the Cherries was back in 2015 in the two side’s first ever meeting in the Premier League, with Junior Stanislas and Joshua King getting on the scoresheet.
Even more ominously for Bournemouth, in the 14 meetings between the two sides, the Cherries have emerged victorious on just two occasions.
The Cherries have been in excellent form of late. Wins over Crystal Palace, Watford and Fulham in the last month have seen the club climb to sixth in the table and within touching distance of the top four.
The hosts front line have looked increasingly dangerous in recent weeks; Wilson has now scored three in his last three appearances, while winger Ryan Fraser has found a consistency to his game that had previously eluded him.
Manchester United also find themselves in a purple patch that has, at the very least, distracted the gaze of neutrals from the ongoing Mourinho-Pogba fiasco. Wins over Newcastle and Everton, plus a draw against title hopefuls Chelsea, have elevated the Red Devils to eighth in the table.
The return to form of Anthony Martial, who has so often disappointed in a Utd shirt, is a massive boost to Mourinho with Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku struggling to display their talents on a regular basis. The Frenchman has scored four in his last three appearances and will be eager to add to that tally on Saturday.
Here’s how both sides have performed in their last five fixtures:
Both sides have seemingly found some consistency to their game in recent weeks and will be confident of emerging with a victory on Saturday.
For all their good work in recent weeks, Mourinho’s side have won back to back games just once this term, and will be determined to do so again at the weekend.
Bournemouth will be wary of the visitors threat in attack though will also fancy their chances against an error-prone defence, that often relies on goalkeeping heroics from David De Gea.
Prediction Bournemouth 2-1 Manchester United