Wednesday, April 18 – 7:45p.m Local time – Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
Manchester United is set for a re-arranged midweek Premier League encounter ahead of its grudge match with Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final of the FA Cup this Saturday.
United travel to Dean Court to face eleventh-placed Bournemouth for the first of their last five games before the curtain closes on the current Premier League campaign.
The Red devils, by this time last season, had two pieces of silverware to quench the thirst of the Stretford End; an achievement that has been somewhat evasive 12 months on.
Jose Mourinho has downplayed proceedings, often making the pragmatic approach of focusing on one match at a time. The Manchester United boss has made it vividly clear that he won’t be resting any players for the trip to the South Coast.
The announcement comes in the wake of a disheartening 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion over the weekend; a result that ultimately played out to Manchester City’s liking, as they were crowned Premier League champions.
Although the blue side of Manchester could have relished winning the League the good old-fashioned way, it still doesn’t lessen the fact that City have had a stunning title-winning season.
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Manchester United’s loss last week, which was only West Brom’s fourth win of the season, coupled with Mourinho’s post-match sentiments on how his players “complicated football”, does lend to the theory that there will be a massive overhaul at Carrington in the English summer.
For the moment though, the United gaffer will make do with whoever is available for the trip to the South Coast — a squad that certainly has more than enough firepower to tame Eddie Howe’s charges.
Bournemouth has been struggling since its thrilling triumphs over Arsenal and Chelsea in January, winning just two of its next nine games. AFC’s last outing saw them mauled 3-0 by Liverpool, courtesy of the trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
The win and United’s subsequent defeat has Liverpool a point shy of second place; albeit having played a game more. This further complicates the race for second place, as it piles unnecessary pressure on Manchester United, who initially had a healthy advantage over the Reds.
Eddie Howe has a relatively fit squad, save for the enforced absence of Junior Stanislas and Adam Smith who are both recuperating from knee injuries.
Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Scott McTominay could push for a start for Manchester United, having made it to the bench during the defeat to West Brom.
Other than goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who sustained a back injury during the last international break while playing for
Argentina, Jose Mourinho has plenty of might on his side.
Man United vs. Bournemouth Match prediction
Manchester United may have fallen short over the weekend, but the players know all too well that Jose Mourinho isn’t one to mince his words. Suffice it to say an impressive showing in training will be adequate for a call up against the Cherries, eventually translating to a place in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
Dean Court is a tough ground for opposing teams, but the players have little option other than to see this one through.
Manchester United vs. Bournemouth recent results
Man United 1-0 Bournemouth (December 13, 2017)
Romelu Lukaku 25′
Man United 1-1 Bournemouth (March 4, 2017)
Marcos Rojo 23′
Joshua King 40′ (P)
Bournemouth 1-3 Man United (August 14, 2016)
Adam Smith 69′
Juan Mata 40′
Wayne Rooney 59′
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 64′
Man United 3-1 Bournemouth (May 17, 2016)
Wayne Rooney 43′
Marcus Rashford 74′
Ashley Young 87′
Chris Smalling 90’+1 (OG)
Bournemouth 2-1 Man United (December 12, 2015)
Junior Stanislas 2′
Joshua King 54′
Marouane Fellaini 24′
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