Vitality Stadium, Dean Court, Bournemouth
Premier League 2016/17
Sunday 14th August 2016 – KO 13:30 [Live on Sky Sports]
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistant Referees: Simon Beck and Scott Ledger
Fourth Official: Roger East
Manchester United start their Premier League season away to AFC Bournemouth, a fixture they lost 2-1 last season. Jose Mourinho, United;s new manager will be looking to get his season started with a victory in his bid to win the league with his new side, the first time they will have done so since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson more than three years ago. United have stuttered under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, with Mourinho now in to steady the ship and bring back the glory days. The signings of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba suggest that is going to be the plan under the Portuguese with United making a statement to their rivals. The squad is much stronger, players have left or will before the end of the summer transfer window, with United maybe making more signings to fortify the squad.
United suffered a mixed pre-season, beating Wigan Athletic, losing to Borussia Dortmund 4-1 in China, seeing the Manchester derby cancelled in China due to a mixture of the weather and a poor playing surface, meaning one less match would be played this summer. United then went to Sweden beating Galatasaray 5-2 with Ibrahimovic making his debut – scoring inside the first four minutes of the match. United then drew 0-0 with Everton at Old Trafford for Wayne Rooney’s testimonial before travelling to Wembley where they beat Leicester City 2-1 to win the FA Community Shield. United are not back to their best but are well on their way to getting there.
Paul Pogba re-signed for the club he left four years ago this week in an £89 million world record deal. Pogba is suspended for United’s visit to Bournemouth though after accumulating two yellow cards in the Coppa Italia last season, equaling a suspension in England. He was probably not going to be ready to play anyway after only returning to training earlier in the week with Mourinho suggesting that bu Tuesday next week he will be ready to play – making his debut at Old Trafford against Southampton one of the local rivals of Bournemouth. Chris Smalling is also suspended after being sent off in the Emirates FA Cup final back in May, where United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in extra time to lift the historic domestic trophy – Louis van Gaal’s first and last for the Old Trafford club and United’s first FA Cup in twelve years.
Bournemouth had a good season in the Premier League last season, finishing sixteenth with 42 points, five clear of Newcastle United who were relegated with Norwich City and Aston Villa. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side beat United in this fixture in December last year, winning 2-1 in a period where United failed to win six consecutive matches in the Premier League, a period where Louis van Gaal was tipped to be sacked with Mourinho also being sacked by Chelsea and then linked to the Old Trafford hot seat. United’s form picked up, losing only five more league matches in total, but finishing fifth, on goal difference to Manchester City. I am sure United will be back, especially with the signings made and after the fact that Mourinho has instilled the confidence into his side, which will in time bring back the winning mentality, resulting in the fear factor returning and hopefully United having a period of dominance once again. Come on UNITED!
Manchester United Form:- WDWLW
Leicester City 2-1 W, Everton 0-0 D, Galatasaray 5-2 W, Borussia Dortmund 4-1 L, Wigan Athletic 2-0 W
AFC Bournemouth Form:- WDWDDW
Angers SCO 1-0 W, Valencia 1-1 D, Cardiff City 1-0 W, Reading 1-1 D, Portsmouth 3-3 D, Minnesota United 4-0 W
Manchester United Squad;
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone
Defenders: Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Matteo Darmian, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin
Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford
Suspensions/Injuries: Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba (both one match suspension), Jesse Lingard (ankle/foot), Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (groin)
AFC Bournemouth Squad:
Manager: Eddie Howe
Goalkeepers: Artur Boruc, Ryan Allsop, Adam Federici
Defenders: Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Nathan Aké, Charlie Daniels, Brad Smith, Adam Smith, Tyrone Mings, Rhoys Wiggins, Corey Jordan, Baily Cargill
Midfielders: Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Marc Pugh, Harry Arter, Shaun MacDonald, Joshua King, Lewis Cook, Junior Stanislas, Emerson Hyndman, Ryan Fraser, Eunan O’Kane, Jordon Ibe
Forwards: Benik Afobe, Max Gradel, Callum Wilson, Lewis Grabban, Lys Mousset, Tokelo Rantie
Suspensions/Injuries: Baily Cargill (groin), Emerson Hyndman (ankle/foot), Junior Stanislas (inguinal hernia), Tyrone Mings (knee)
Predicted Starting XI:
AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United