Manchester United travel to Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth in Saturday’s Premier League action, looking to consolidate their place in the top four.
Gary O’Neil’s side were handed their third defeat in five games last weekend, with the revitalised Crystal Palace running out 2-0 winners at Selhurst Park.
However, the defeat remains inconsequential to the Cherries, who have already secured top-flight stay at the first time of asking, but they will hope to finish the season strongly.
They will welcome Man United, who have been forced to look over their shoulders as they chase a place in next season’s Champions League with Liverpool breathing down their neck.
Erik ten Hag’s side saw off the challenge from former relegation battlers Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, with Anthony Martial and Alejandro Garnacho delivering the goods for the Red Devils.
Anything but maximum points on the south coast could have devastating consequences for Man United, who sit just one point above the rampant Liverpool in the Premier League table.
O’Neil’s side have nothing left to fight for this season asides from hitting the 40-point mark, but their abysmal run of form against Saturday’s opponents could be an added incentive to go for the jugular.
Bournemouth have lost eight of their 11 league games against Man United (W2, D1), although they emerged 1-0 winners the last time they faced the Red Devils at home in November 2019.
The Cherries have lost their last two league games, but not since the turn of the new year, when O’Neil’s side fell to four defeats in a row, have they lost more consecutively.
Bournemouth have won their final home game in three of their five previous Premier League seasons (D1, L1), so they will be keen to sign off the campaign in front of their supporters on a high.
The stakes could not be any higher for the Champions League-chasing Red Devils on Saturday, with nothing but maximum points the priority for Ten Hag’s side.
They will fancy their chances against the lowly Cherries as they have only failed to score in one of their last 14 meetings with Bournemouth in all competitions.
Man United won 16 points from their nine league games on the road between August and December this season (W5, D1, L3) – the second most in the top flight.
However, since the turn of the new year, Ten Hag’s side have experienced a drop off on their travels, winning just eight points from nine games on the road (W2, D2, L5).
Premier League Form
Manchester United: DWLLW
Bournemouth vs Manchester United Potential Line-ups
Bournemouth (4-4-1-1): Neto; Adam Smith, Illya Zabarnyi, Lloyd Kelly, Matias Vina; Dango Ouattara, Jefferson Lerma, Joe Rothwell, Ryan Christie; Phillip Billing; Dominic Solanke.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw; Casemiro, Christian Eriksen; Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford; Anthony Martial.
We Say: Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United
None of Bournemouth’s last 14 league games have finished without a winner (W7, L7), and the weekend encounter should be no different.
Man United saw off Wolves with relative ease, but they could find Bournemouth a more difficult proposition, although Ten Hag’s side are expected to bypass the lowly Cherries.
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