Bournemouth will welcome Manchester United to the south of England, to the Vitality stadium. They hope to win against a United side bedeviled with problems and victory could mean they sit comfortably at 6th position.
The Cherries have made a dream start to the season. They are currently 6th on the table and have 3 points better than United.
This season has been a fairytale season for the Cherries and the fans will definitely want that to continue indefinitely. It is hard to believe that just 10 years ago, they were battling for survival after having 17 points deducted fron them in League 2.
A clean sheet win against United wouod see them go 4 games without conceding for the first time in their history – although their defence was breached in the midweek EFL Cup win over Norwich City. Their last weekend game was a commanding 3-0 win against Fulham and confidence is high going into this weekend’s game.
Tuesday’s win over Norwich Sity not only set up a quarter-final showdown with Chelsea, but also extended Bournemouth’s unbeaten record at home this season, with Howe’s side having now won six and drawn two in the Vitality Stadium.
Only four teams, Bournemouth, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea are yet to experience a home league defeat this season, and United were actually the last team to beat them at the Vitality Stadium on their most recent visit in April.
Josh King is still a doubt due to his ankle injury and Eddie Howe will be looking to replace him. Simon Francis is also still recuperating and is also billed to miss the match.
Callum Wilson is expected to lead the line once again. He has been in fine form in as many games and is primed to make an impact this weekend.
Likely Bournemouth starting lineup:
Begovic; Ake, S Cook, Daniels; Smith, L Cook, Lerma, Fraser; Brooks, Wilson, King
The Red Devils have endured a torrid start to the season. They currently sit 8th position after 10 games and are nine points behind the log leaders.
United sat in second place at the same stage of last season, but an even more telling disparity between the two campaigns can be found in the goals conceded column.
Last season United conceded just four goals from their opening 10 games, but already this season, they have leaked 17! This is a compelling statistic that proves that Mancheester United are in perilious times.
Jose Mourinho’s men have a game against Juventus on Wednesday in Turin and then the Manchester derby the next weekend before the international break. Wins in these two games could breath some life into their season.
Defeating Bournemouth would see United manage successive wins for the first time since mid-September, and the importance of picking up all three points will only be increased by the difficult fixtures next week.
Lukaku has been poor recently, as he has not scored in 9 games now. Reason why he was dropped in the win against Everton. Its tough to say if he will lead the line this weekend or if Marcos Rashford will play the centre-forward postion once again.
Marouane Fellaini and Diogo Dalot are still doubts for the match while Anthony Martial is expected to keep his place. Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata are also expected to start.
Likely Man Utd starting lineup:
De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Mata, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Lukaku, Martial
Head To Head
Bournemouth have only won two of the 14 previous contests between these two sides, both of which have come at home.
Match Update – Final Scores
AFC Bournemouth 1 – 2 Manchester United
Callum Wilson 11′
Anthony Martial 35′
Marcus Rashford 90′