Manchester United will come against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday in a match which kicks off at 12:30 GMT and will be shown live on BT Sport 1 HD in the United Kingdom. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has changed their fortunes of late with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool and three away victories in their last four matches, seeing his side rise up to seventh in the Premier League table.
Solskjaer will be happy to see the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Scott McTominay all in the hunt for goals again this season, also the fact that Daniel James is starting to find his feet at the club, despite rising from the Championship with Swansea City last season. United seem to be growing in confidence, which will aid them as the season develops.
Key Players: United’s players are they key to defeating Bournemouth as there is a rising confidence level with goals for Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial and a star in the making in Daniel James.
Manchester United: David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial
Bournemouth: Aaron Ramsdale, Nathan Ake, Philip Billing, Ryan Fraser, Harry Wilson, Callum Wilson, Joshua King
Key Battles: Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, and Anthony Martial to lead the battles against Bournemouth with Callum Wilson, Philip Billings, and Nathan Ake tasked with trying to thwart United.
Key Battle One: Harry Maguire versus Callum Wilson
The 26-year-old has largely been a defensive rock for United this season. He may not be worth the £80 million that the club paid Leicester City for him but part of the large fee was the fact that United desperately needed a defender of his ilk in the team. In ten appearances in the Premier League this season, United have two clean sheets. Maguire has a 75% tackle success, making 12 interceptions and 43 clearances – 29 headed.
One player that Maguire might come up against is Callum Wilson, Bournemouth’s in form striker. In ten appearances this season, Wilson has scored five goals in the Premier League. His shooting accuracy is 69%, not the greatest but still a threat for United as they continue to build on the confidence that they have set in the last four matches after the international break. Maguire and his teammates will need to be on guard.
Key Battle Two: Scott McTominay versus Philip Billing
The 22-year-old midfielder has been in great form this season and has recently been named as the clubs Player of the Month for October. McTominay has scored two goals this season, his latest against Norwich City last weekend. McTominay has earned his place in the heart of United’s midfield this season. He has 16 shots on goal, four of those on target, has created two big chances and averages 51 passes per match.
Bournemouth midfielder Philip Billing could pose some problems for McTominay. He is not a goalscorer but can cut put possession. McTominay will be tasked with carrying the ball from the midfield to the attacking players, an area that Billing will operate. He has a 57% tackle success, has made 26 interceptions and 24 clearances. He fouls often, making 13 this season having been booked four times already, on the cusp of suspension.
Key Battle Three: Anthony Martial versus Nathan Ake
The Frenchman has played just five times in the Premier League this season, returning against Liverpool about a fortnight ago. He has scored three Premier League goals, also having one assist so far this season. Martial has a 58% shooting accuracy, putting 12 shots on goal, seven of them on target. His recent return to form, and the fact he has scored twice in the last three matches suggests he’s ready to score more.
Former Chelsea academy graduate Nathan Ake could be tasked with aiming to silence Martial and his teammates, which could be a tough ask for him. This season, Ake has played ten times in the Premier League, has kept two clean sheets also scoring one goal. However, the Bournemouth defence has conceded 13 goals in the league, with Ake recovering the ball 42 times, making three blocks, 18 interceptions and 42 clearances.