Preview: Bournemouth up next for United who have five wins in their last six matches – Ten Hag developing his team well?

Spurs seem to have deflated under pressure and United now must keep Liverpool at bay

Manchester United -v- Bournemouth

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Tuesday 3 January 2023, KO 20:00 GMT

Manchester United welcome Bournemouth to Old Trafford for the opening match of 2023 in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. United are on the back of five wins in their last five matches, scoring 12 goals, conceding three and keeping three clean sheets. It seems clear to see that United are doing well under Erik ten Hag this season and the improvement is clear to see. Since Ten Hag took over, United have won 70.8% of matches, losing 20.8% and are undefeated in 79.2%.

The Dutchman is clearly building something good at the club that is not going to be a quick fix and something that should have longevity applied to it. At a club post-Glazer will become something positive and could see United rise to compete with the top teams in European football once again. But before the club heads back in that direction, we should all enjoy the progress that has been attained and will still be gathered in the coming matches. This journey should be a good one.

Bournemouth sit 15th in the Premier League this season with 16 points earned in the 17 matches played. United sit in fourth place with 32 poimts earned in the 16 matches played. United saw their top four position strengthened after beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 then seeing Tottenham Hotspur fall to a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day, which sees United two points clear of Spurs with a game in hand. Spurs now look to be falling from grace.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Nottingham Forest 3-0 W, Burnley 2-0 W, Fulham 2-1 W, Aston Villa 4-2 W, Aston Villa 3-1 L

Goals: 11 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, 3 – Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, 2 – Christian Eriksen, Fred, Alejandro Garnacho, Own Goal, Scott McTominay, 1 – Casemiro, Diogo Dalot

Assists: 7 – Christian Eriksen, 4 – Marcus Rashford, 3 – Bruno Fernandes, 2 – Casemiro, Alejandro Garnacho, Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Scott McTominay, Jadon Sancho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Bournemouth – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Crystal Palace 2-0 L, Chelsea 2-0 L, Newcastle United 1-0 L, Everton 3-0 W, Everton 4-1 W, Leeds United 4-3 L

Goals: 4 – Philip Billing, Kieffer Moore, 3 – Jaidon Anthony, Dominic Solanke, 2 – Jefferson Lerma, Emiliano Marcondes, Marcus Tavernier, 1 – Ryan Christie, Brooklyn Genesini, Jamal Lowe, Junior Stanislas

Assists: 4 – Marcus Tavernier, 3 – Dominic Solanke, 2 – Lewis Cook, Lloyd Kelly, 1 – Philip Billing, Siriki Dembélé, Adam Smith, Junior Stanislas, Jordan Zemura

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Bournemouth have met 10 times in the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing once with Bournemouth winning twice. United have scored 22 goals, winning two penalties, scoring one. Bournemouth have scored 10 goals, winning two penalties, scoring both. United will want to continue their form – winning their last five matches which has seen them rise into the top four and seeing Spurs fall out of it. United just need to keep winning.

United have kept a total of two clean sheets with Bournemouth keeping one. There has been some disciplinary issues with United players shown 16 yellow cards and one red card. Bournemouth players have been shown 18 yellow cards and one red card. United need to be doing better against teams like Bournemouth. In the last match at Old Trafford, United won 5-2 but at the Vitality Stadium earlier that season, lost 1-0. Keeping clean sheets is important against teams like this too.

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. Best will be the most well-known player on this list but all of there players here have their own achievements. Ethan Laird is a player that is still developing for United but currently on loan at Queen’s Park Rangers.

Team News

Axel Tuanzebe and Jadon Sancho continue to be out of contention against Bournemouth with both seeking to return to fitness as soon as possible. There is optimism that both Lisandro Martinez and Scott McTominay could return against Bournemouth with Martinez having been back for about a week following his FIFA World Cup win and McTominay having an illness over the Christmas period. Diogo Dalot is back in training and making good progress but risks will not be taken with him.

It could well be that Aaron Wan-Bissaka keeps his place at right-back against Bournemouth and both Raphael Varane and Martinez are back together again in the centre of defence with Luke Shaw returning to the left-back position. Ten Hag could choose to bring in a youth player for this match with Zidane Iqbal and Kobbie Mainoo both appearing on the bench in recent matches. United should have enough to deal with Bournemouth though – a first win of 2023 is needed.

Norberto Murara Neto and David Brooks both look set to remain sidelined for the trip to Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. However, Philip Billing, Marcus Tavernier, Junior Stanislas and Ryan Fredericks all have 25% chances of being available for Bournemouth, which would suggest that all four of them could also be absent, although it is possible that they could make the bench if late fitness tests or assessments rule that their fitness it higher than first thought.

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

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;

Eriksen, Casemiro;

Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;

Martial

Predicted Bournemouth Starting XI – 5-2-1-2

Travers;

Stacey, Kelly, Senesi, Smith, Zemura;

Lerma, Cook;

Christie;

Solanke, Moore

Match Prediction

United and Bournemouth have only met a total of 18 times competitively in the history of both club – first meeting in 1949 in the FA Cup with United winning 6-0. United have won 12 times, drawing three and losing three, scoring 39 goals, conceding 16 and keeping six clean sheets. United last played Bournemouth in the 2019/20 season with United losing 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium but winning 5-2 at Old Trafford. United will need all three points from this match.

Over the last five matches which United have won, they have scored 12 goals, conceding three and keeping three clean sheets. Bournemouth have not been that good with three defeats in their last three and only winning one of their last six matches. whilst they are not currently in the relegation zone, continued results like the last three will certainly help get them there and possible in contention to be playing Championship football again next season.

Ten Hag will know what he needs to get from this United side who have fought their way into the top four but need some security in their position. Taking on the likes of Newcastle United, Manchester City and Arsenal, who all sit above them is a must this season. This means that United must beat all opposition, especially those above and immediately below them to get the points needed to secure their top four position this season to return to the UEFA Champions League.

Manchester United 2-0 Bournemouth

Written by John Walker

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About John Walker 1875 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.