It remains to be seen how Ole Gunnar’s Solksjaer’s Manchester United tenure progresses over the rest of the season but the Norwegian has given United Christmas joy and that could continue with plenty of goals against Bournemouth.
Under Jose Mourniho the football had become stable and negative with many of United’ attacking players either unused, out of place, or simply out of form, but in two weeks they seem to have caught their spark again.
Solksjaer’s debut was a 5-1 win at his old club Cardiff when the recalled Paul Pogba had a hand in their three goals scored before half time including a stunning freekick from Marcus Rashford and a great team goal from Antony Martial. United had the look of a team that had been let loose going forward and it was the first time United had scored five goals in a Premier League game since the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in charge – a 5-5 draw with West Brom in May 2013.
Pogba is making up for lost time and scored twice in a 3-1 win against Huddersfield when only an excellent performance from Jonas Lossl in the Huddersfield goal prevented them from making it even more as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard were denied. Nemanja Matic was also commanding in midfield and scoring the opener and all of United’s key attacking players appear to be instantly much happier.
Bournemouth is going to be a tougher challenge for them today – they are 12th and Huddersfield and Cardiff are 20th and 17th respectively – although the Cherries have struggled against good sides recently, with their only two wins since since the start of November coming against Huddersfield and Brighton.
That said, they should still be targeting a United defence that hasn’t quite found its balance yet – and one that might well struggle to for a long time – and it was a surprise that they didn’t manage to score against Tottenham, winning the shot counts both inside and outside of the box but finding Spurs’ rearguard too good. United do have David De Gea in goal but he’s not been at his best and the hosts have conceded 31 league goals this campaign, which is already more than the whole of last season.
Man Utd v AFC Bournemouth
16:30 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD*
(Maximum 10 matches)
NOV 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United
APR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Bournemouth 0-2 Manchester United
DEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 1-0 Bournemouth
MAR 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 1-1 Bournemouth
AUG 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United
MAY 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 3-1 Bournemouth
DEC 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Bournemouth 2-1 Manchester United
*In last decade, since Bournemouth returned to Premier League
Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson can take advantage of any lapses but United have the firepower to go forward and do plenty of damage, so over 3.5 goals looks a runner here.
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