Preview: Alejandro Garnacho to start against Bournemouth? Marcus Rashford on the bench? Bruno Fernandes to start?

United need the victory here to keep their place in the top four with Liverpool rising

Bournemouth -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth

Saturday 20 May 2023, KO 15:00 BST

Manchester United travel to the South Coast to face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Erik ten Hag’s side need to continue their winning ways as their place in the top four of the Premier League is not guaranteed. Liverpool are a point behind them, although United have a game in hand which will be played in a week’s time against Chelsea at Old Trafford. United cannot let this slip or the season will have taken a terrible turn.

Bournemouth are in a good position with 39 points sitting in 14th place with all likelihood that they will not be relegated this season. Southampton are already down so it remains to be seen who will be joining them out of Leicester City (19th), Leeds United (18th), Everton (17th) and Nottingham Forest (16th). West Ham United are two points adrift of Bournemouth but seem safe at this stage – a point for them this weekend could make them safe too.

United have had a positive season but the two defeats to Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham made it difficult for United to secure their top four position by this stage of the season. Ideally, United would have liked to rest some key players – keeping them fit ahead of the Emirates FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 3 June 2023. But before that, beating Bournemouth and Chelsea seem the best way of getting a top four finish done.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 W, West Ham United 1-0 L, Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 L, Aston Villa 1-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 D, Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 (7-6) W

Goals: 29 – Marcus Rashford, 11 – Bruno Fernandes, 8 – Anthony Martial, Antony, 7 – Jadon Sancho, 6 – Fred, 5 – Casemiro, Alejandro Garnacho, Own Goal, 3 – Scott McTominay, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcel Sabitzer, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Wout Weghorst, 1 – Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw

Assists: 13 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Christian Eriksen, Marcus Rashford, 6 – Casemiro, Luke Shaw, 5 – Fred, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Anthony Martial, Antony, Wout Weghorst, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, 1 – Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Marcel Sabitzer, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Bournemouth – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Crystal Palace 2-0 L, Chelsea 3-1 L, Leeds United 4-1 W, Southampton 1-0 W, West Ham United 4-0 L, Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 W

Goals: 7 – Philip Billing, Dominic Solanke, 5 – Jefferson Lerma, Marcus Tavernier, 4 – Jaidon Anthony, Kieffer Moore, 2 – Ryan Christie, Emiliano Marcondes, Marcos Senesi, Matías Viña, 1 – Brooklyn Genesini, Jamal Lowe, Dango Ouattara, Antoine Semenyo, Junior Stanislas

Assists: 7 – Dominic Solanke, 4 – Marcus Tavernier, 3 – Dango Ouattara, 2 – Lewis Cook, Lloyd Kelly, 1 – Jaidon Anthony, Philip Billing, Ryan Christie, Siriki Dembélé, Joe Rothwell, Adam Smith, Junior Stanislas, Jordan Zemura

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Bournemouth have met 11 times in the Premier League. United have won eight times drawing once, losing twice. United have scored 25 goals, winning two penalties, scoring one. Bournemouth have scored 10 goals, winning two penalties, scoring both. United have kept three clean sheets with Bournemouth keeping one. United players shown 16 yellow cards and one red card. Bournemouth players have been shown 21 yellow cards and one red card.

Back on the 3 January, United and Bournemouth met at Old Trafford. United won 3-0 with goals scored by Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford. United have a pretty good record against Bournemouth In all competitions, United have played Bournemouth 19 times, winning 13, drawing three and losing three. The last defeat came at the Vitality Stadium in November 2019, a 1-0 defeat with Joshua King scoring the only goal of the match.

George Best, Jack Rowley, Ted MacDougall, Russell Beardsmore, Chris Casper, Graeme Tomlinson, Paul Teather, John O’Shea, Joshua King, Robbie Brady and Ethan Laird have all played for United and Bournemouth. Joe Rothwell and Ben Pearson currently play for the club, although Pearson was on loan at Stoke City for part of the season. Best will be the most well-known player on this list but all of there players here have their own achievements.

Team News

Lisandro Martinez (foot), Donny van de Beek (knee), Marcel Sabitzer (knee) and Tom Heaton (ankle) have all been ruled out of the clash with Bournemouth through injury. Martinez, van de Beek and Sabitzer will not play for the remainder of the season, which is a blow for the on loan Austrian midfielder. Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have both returned to training this week and both have high chances of being involved in the travelling squad for Saturday.

At this stage of the season, with United needing to confirm their top four finish in the Premier League, Ten Hag will need to continue to select his top players to grind the results out for the club with Liverpool just a point away from the top four although both United and Newcastle United have a game in hand over them. The likes of Jack Butland, Facundo Pellistri and even Wout Weghorst will be seeking to get more minutes in the next four matches left to play.

Junior Stanislas (other), Ryan Fredericks (calf), Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Hamed Traore (ankle/foot) and Antione Semenyo (leg) have all been ruled out of the clash with United on Saturday afternoon. Joe Rothwell could feature against United for the second time this season; playing six minutes in the 3-0 defeat to United at Old Trafford on the 3 January 2023. Bournemouth look to be safe in the Premier League this season so a defeat should not really cost them anything.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Shaw;

Casemiro, Eriksen;

Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho;


Predicted Bournemouth Starting XI – 4-2-3-1


Mepham, Zabarnyi, Kelly, Vina;

Lerma, Rothwell;

Ouattara, Billing, Christie;


Match Prediction

United will need to play as well against Bournemouth on Saturday as they played against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend. Anthony Martial and Alejandro Garnacho scored the two goals to get the win at Old Trafford in the Premier League last weekend with United aiming rise back into third place in the Premier League this season – although Newcastle United’s goal difference has been a problem because it is far superior to that of United’s.

Bournemouth seem to be pretty safe in the Premier League this season and should survive even if they lose their last two matches. However, it could see them subjected to some late pressure. Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have been back in training this week, which is a bonus considering Marcel Sabitzer’s season is now over due to a knee injury. It means that there are some options on the bench should United need them – Rashford might not be fully fit.

United should opt to try and get some early goals to take the pressure off a little at the Vitality Stadium as a draw or a defeat, with Liverpool facing Aston Villa at the same time, could well see United slip into fifth place – although they do have a game in hand against Chelsea to be played next Thursday. United will need to ensure Liverpool do not rise into the UEFA Champions League places this season – if they do it will need to be at the expense of the Magpies.

Bournemouth 0-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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About editor 2136 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.