Manchester United will be seeking a rebound performance after losing to last-place West Brom at home, in a match that gifted Man City the Premier League title.

By 90Min
April 17, 2018

Manchester United will be traveling down to the south coast on Wednesday to face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. 

Both sides will be looking to bounce back from disappointing results at the weekend. Bournemouth suffered a 3-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield, while United lost 1-0 at home against West Brom.

With Bournemouth currently sitting in 11th place in the Premier League, 10 points clear of the drop zone, they look set to secure another season in England's top division. However, with 38 points, they will still hoping to hit that 40 point safety mark as soon as possible.

Jose Mourinho's United are currently second in the table, but they have Liverpool and Tottenham both chasing them down, so will be desperate to get back to winning ways. 


Previous Encounters

Bournemouth's promotion to the Premier League in 2015, marked the first time the two sides would meet in the league. And the Cherries won that first Premier League meeting 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium. Since then, there have been three wins for United and one draw. 

The past two fixtures between the two sides have been close, a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the second half of last season, and a 1-0 victory at home for United earlier this term. 


Key Battle

Nathan Ake vs. Romelu Lukaku

Nathan Ake is likely to start alongside Steve Cook in central defence for the home side. And the Dutch defender could be tasked with the job of keeping United's Belgian striker quiet. 

Lukaku has netted 15 times in the Premier League this season, and at 6-foot-2 he is a big presence when it comes to set pieces. It was the Belgium international that bagged the goal for the Red Devils when the two sides met in December.

Ake will have to keep his eye on United's front man at all times, and stick with him if a free kick or corner gets whipped into the Bournemouth penalty box.


Team News

Bournemouth will be without Junior Stanislas and Adam Smith, who are both sidelined with knee injuries. While Tyrone Mings is a doubt as he is not thought to be match fit yet, after recently recovering from a back problem that has kept him out since September. 

Manchester United do not have any injury concerns, with second choice goal keeper Sergio Romero, the only player sidelined at present.

Eddie Howe is unlikely to make many changes to the side that lost at Anfield on Saturday, as his side face another tough challenge against Manchester United. But it is likely that Callum Wilson will be back in the starting XI, after having to settle for a place on the bench on Saturday. And Marc Pugh could also return to add some fresh legs in the midweek fixture.

Mourinho is expected to make a few changes, with his sides FA Cup semifinal against Spurs in mind. Eric Bailly was rested at the weekend due to United's hectic schedule, so could again be rested for the FA Cup clash, with Victor Lindeloff keeping his place at center back.

Antonio Valencia could also be rested for the midweek clash, which may open the door for Luke Shaw to earn a rare start under Mourinho. And Jesse Lingard could start in place of Juan Mata, who played the 90 minutes on Saturday, and will most likely be starting at Wembley.


Potential Bournemouth Starting Lineup: Begovic; Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels; Fraser, Cook, Gosling, Pugh; King, Wilson

Potenital Manchester United Starting Lineup: De Gea; Young, Lindeloff, Smalling, Shaw; Matic, Herrera; Lingard, Sanchez, Pogba; Lukaku


Prediction

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

United only managed a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture earlier this season, and this could be another tight game.

Mourinho's side will be looking to get back to winning ways as they bid to finish as runners up in the Premier League this term, but they could be prioritizing their FA Cup semifinal, and Bournemouth may be the more focused side.

Following their weekend thrashing, the Cherries will want to bounce back, but they haven't got a good record at home against the top six this season. They have lost four of the five clashes against the top sides this term, with Arsenal the one to have been beaten at the Vitality Stadium this campaign. 

However, Bournemouth have only lost once in their last eight home fixtures, and the south coast side can be a difficult team to break down, if they set up to defend and counter attack.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1 - 2 Manchester United

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