The Red Devils will look to extend their lead in the Premier League rankings when they host The Cherries at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Manchester United climbed into fourth place with a 1-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, while Bournemouth is coming off a 2-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace. Man United won their third consecutive Premier League game, and they are fifth in a row overall, with a 1-0 victory against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday, with Marcus Rashford scoring the lone goal of the game against Julen Lopetegui’s side.
The Red Devils have now won four of their past five league games and have only lost once since the Manchester derby at the start of October, propelling them into fourth place in the rankings, only two points behind third-placed Newcastle United, who have played one more game. Man United is currently just four points behind second-placed Manchester City after the same amount of games (16). At the same time, Tottenham Hotspur’s home loss to Aston Villa on Sunday means that a win on Tuesday night would put them five points ahead of Antonio Conte’s club.
There is no denying that the club had a bad start to the season, losing their first two league games to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford, but they have since won 10, drawn two, and lost two of their 14 games, and there have been significant improvements under Erik ten Hag’s management. Man United is preparing for four home games in a row, facing Everton in the FA Cup, Charlton Athletic in the EFL Cup, and Man City in the league after the match against Bournemouth. Ten Hag’s team will also go to Arsenal on January 22nd, while February will bring both legs of their Europa League knockout stage showdown with Barcelona.
Kick-off: 1:30 am (IST), 8:00 pm: (GMT)
Manchester United form (all competitions):
Bournemouth form (all competitions):
After over a week of training after the World Cup, Lisandro Martinez may return to Man United’s starting lineup for this encounter.
Luke Shaw has performed as a center-back in the team’s past two games, but he might be shifted to left-back for this encounter. At the same time, Aaron Wan-Bissaka could hold his position at right-back if Diogo Dalot’s World Cup hamstring injury sidelines him again. Jadon Sancho (fitness) and Scott McTominay (sickness) are concerned for the 20-time English champions, while Axel Tuanzebe (long-term injury) is out.
After recuperating from sickness, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof were benched against the Wolves and may have to do so again. After being late for a team meeting against the Wolves, Rashford should return to the lineup tonight, while Antony and Anthony Martial should keep their places in the final third.
Philip Billing, who left the Palace loss early with a hip injury, is a significant concern for Bournemouth. David Brooks and Neto will also miss the encounter, while Ryan Fredericks, Junior Stanislas, and Marcus Tavernier may be too young. Siriki Dembele may replace Billing in central midfield, but it might be the same team that played against Palace, with Kieffer Moore and Dominic Solanke up front.
Players to Watch
Marcus Rashford has maintained his recent fine form against Nottingham in addition to his outstanding performance at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. In the 19th minute, Rashford gave United the lead. With three goals, he enjoyed a successful World Cup as well. With 5 goals, Rashford, 25, had a forgettable campaign the previous year. Rashford scored 10 goals for Manchester United thus far in 2022–2023. His effort and skills against the Wolves will give Manchester United the edge.
The former Liverpool player scored 29 goals and provided seven assists in 46 league games and was instrumental in Bournemouth’s promotion to the top division last season. Although he has had difficulty maintaining his previous performance levels in the Premier League, Solanke remains Bournemouth’s strongest front-line option.
The lanky striker’s recent scoring drought coincides with his team’s performances and spans six games. His ability to score has been strongly correlated with Bournemouth’s performance; thus, his return to his previous scoring ways might be the spark required to stop their downward trend.
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Out of 18 games played between these teams, so far, Manchester United has won 12 matches, 3 draws, and 3 wins for Bournemouth.
Player – 18
Manchester United – 12
Draws – 3
Bournemouth – 3
Manchester United’s predicted lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Eriksen, Casemiro; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial
Bournemouth’s predicted lineup:
Travers; Anthony, Smith, Senesi, Kelly, Zemura; Cook, Lerma, Dembele; Solanke, Moore
Bournemouth are playing a Man United team that has won 16 points in seven league games at Old Trafford in 2022–23, despite having the third-worst home record in the Premier League this season.
At this point in the season, unexpected outcomes are always possible, but we are finding it extremely difficult to forecast one here. Instead, we are picking Man United to keep up their recent excellent play with a two-goal victory.
Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Bournemouth