Manchester United v Bournemouth Preview, Betting Tips and Predictions
December 27, 2018
Old Trafford - Premier League
New Years Eve Premier League action sees Bournemouth travel to old trafford to face Ole Solskjaer's unbeaten Manchester United side. The Cherries were hammerd by Tottenham on Boxing day, and will be hoping for a far better result on Sunday.
United have a good record against Bournemouth and continued it this season, beating them by two goals to one. The Cherries opened the scoring on the day, through Callum Wilson, before Anthony Martial equalized and Marcus Rashford hit the winner in extra-time.
Solskjaer is expected to make a round of changes and will have Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial available again. Ashley Young is expected to start in one of the two full-back positions, whilst Ander Herrera should reclaim his place in midfield, having excelled in the manager's first game in charge.
Eddie Howe is going through a full-back injury crisis with Simon Francis going off injured against Spurs and Adam Smith already sidelined. This could see Jack Simpson pushed out to the right flank, or a switch to a three-man defence, with Jordan Ibe playing as a wing back, as he did against Chelsea.
Manchester United v Bournemouth Preview and Predictions
Following the firing of Jose Mourinho, all eyes have been on one man, not Solkjaer, but Paul Pogba, who's relationship with the former manager was a source of much debate. Whether or not this was more than speculation, the Frenchman has reacted positively, with two goals and two assists already.
Solskjaer now has at his disposal the player that convinced United to break the transfer record at the time, and the interim manager is likely to build his team accordingly. Already, United have set up with two defensive midfielders, allowing Pogba to roam more freely. This, as many predicted, has allowed the midfielder to bolster the front line, which against both Cardiff and Huddersfield, was not particularly offensive.
However, the former striker has enjoyed a somewhat blessed start to his career as United manager, and faces far more of a test against Bournemouth. The Cherries have had a poor month, by this season's standards, losing four out of six games, although three of these were against Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham. Not so long ago, these types of fixtures would have been considered write-offs, so to have been disappointed is a sign of Bournemouth's progress. That said, they are still 19/2 for the victory.
Eddie Howe may have seen his side drop down the table in recent weeks, but will know that, come the new year, they have a run of entirely winnable fixtures. The biggest struggle for the Cherries may well be holding on to front man Callum Wilson, who has notched eight goals and give assists already this campaign, and holds the advantage of being a home-grown player. With Chelsea sniffing around, the manager might well hope that Wilson is quiet against United to help his team in the long run.
United are undoubtedly favourites - best price 3/8, with the draw 9/2 - going into Sunday's game, but Howe is an experienced manager, and knows his side well. Despite having a far stronger squad, the same cannot be said for Solskjaer and we could be in for an interesting contest.
Paul Pogba to score first at 5/1
The midfielder has been supplementing Marcus Rashford's goalscoring of late and has a point to prove.
United to win by 2 goals at 3/1
The home side are riding a wave of positivity, which should be enough to overcome Bournemouth.