On every Red Devils’ fans’ mind, there’s probably this question as to how United wound up in a situation where they need to win against Bournemouth and pray for Manchester City to lose against Swansea City, in order to qualify to the Champions League next season. Despite the performances of the United team against the “big teams”, Louis van Gaal’s job is expected to be severely scrutinised if they don’t make it to the top 4.
Bournemouth will make a trip to Old Trafford for a league game looking for a double of their own, having beaten United in December. Taking aside how poorly United have performed, they are still big names in the EPL and having defeated them is, undoubtedly, one of the highlights of Bournemouth’s first ever top division season. To make it even better, they have fared pretty well and will be back again next season. Fans would be hoping that they make these trips to the big grounds on a more regular basis.
Adnan Januzaj will miss Manchester United’s season finale against Bournemouth with a hamstring injury. He will be joined on the sidelines by Matteo Darmian, while Ashley Young is gradually making his way back to full fitness. Marouane Fellaini continues with his suspension, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw remain sidelined.
Eddie Howe has no fresh injury or suspension worries for the last Barclays Premier League game of the season against Manchester United on Sunday. Adam Smith is unavailable due to a groin injury which forced him off in the 4-0 defeat by Manchester City at the beginning of April. Sylvain Distin, Tyrone Mings and Tokelo Rantie are still out of action.
• Manchester United have conceded fewer goals than any other team in the Premier League on home soil this season (8).
• There have been just 32 goals in the Premier League at Old Trafford, fewer than on any other ground in the top flight this season.
• Bournemouth have lost just three of their last 12 Premier League away matches (W5 D4 L3).
• The Red Devils have taken 19 points from a possible 21 in their last seven Premier League games at Old Trafford.
• Bournemouth have visited Old Trafford four times in all competitions, losing all four without scoring.
• Bournemouth won 2-1 when these teams met for the first time in a league game in December.
• The Cherries have lost on their four previous trips to Old Trafford in cup competitions – they failed to score in those four games and conceded 12 goals.
Head to Head
12/12/2015 Premier League 2015/2016 AFC Bournemouth 2 – 1 Manchester United
Manchester United: Wayne Rooney
With people having mixed opinions about him and a majority of them writing him off, there might still be scope for him even if he is switched to a midfield role. Rooney, who has scored seven Premier League goals this season, has been deployed in a midfield role of late, with Marcus Rashford preferred by Van Gaal as United’s main striker. Truth is, he is a very good footballer and nobody can score goals like him without being a top player.
Players like that don’t lose the habit of scoring goals and they can always find areas on the pitch where they can be a danger. It is indeed a clever move to play Rooney in the midfield, especially with his experience, and that could prolong his career.
Bournemouth: Josh King
After being moved to his favoured central striking position, Josh King has played a starring role in helping the Cherries all but secure their top-flight status. King is Bournemouth’s seven-goal leading marksman after scoring the winner against Manchester United and also netting in the crucial victories over Newcastle United, Swansea City and Aston Villa. The best part about Bournemouth’s strike force is that their attack is comprised of promising youngsters with Josh King leading the way.
Manchester United will be desperate for the win and also would not want to lose to Bournemouth two time successively. Also, Anthony Martial has been excellent off late and De Gea will be tested against the likes of Josh King. The expected result would be a 1-0 win for Manchester United at home. You can take advantage of the current betting promotion at Sportingbet on whether United can take the three points from this game.