MX23RW : Friday, January 18 22:56:57
Dec 13, 2017 at 8pm UK at ​Old Trafford
Attendance: 74,798
Man UtdManchester United
Lukaku (25')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Manchester United vs. Bournemouth - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, team news and a full match preview of the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Bournemouth.

Manchester United head into Wednesday's Premier League clash with Bournemouth looking to return to winning ways after their derby defeat to Manchester City at the weekend.

The Cherries make the trip to Old Trafford having failed to win any of their last four matches in the top flight, with Eddie Howe's team now sitting just three points above the relegation zone.

Manchester United

Jose Mourinho applauds during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Newcastle United on November 18, 2017© SilverHub

Since United failed to overcome neighbours City on Sunday afternoon, much of the post-match reaction has centred around a fracas which took place between the changing rooms at Old Trafford.

However, what should not be lost from the weekend's result is that Jose Mourinho's team were outclassed by the league leaders, who now hold an 11-point advantage at the top of the standings and are already regarded as certainties for the title.

Much has been made of Mourinho's tactics for the derby showdown, especially after United had shown a willingness to attack Arsenal a week earlier, but the Portuguese must now go back to trying to put together a string of victories which are required to maintain small hope of catching City.

While Romelu Lukaku continued to look desperately short of confidence in front of goal, the main positive from the setback was Marcus Rashford netting his second goal in as many matches after previously going nine games without troubling the scorers.

United have missed the contribution of the young Englishman in the final third, but it may be left up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic to try to give Mourinho more firepower in an attack which is still loaded with star names.

Ibrahimovic has only spent 73 minutes on the pitch across five outings from the bench but with Lukaku perhaps starting to suffer from starting every Premier League and Champions League game this season, the time feels right for Mourinho to tinker with the number nine position.

Recent form: LWWWWL
Recent form (all competitions): LWWWWL


Eddie Howe watches his side go down again during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Bournemouth on October 14, 2017© SilverHub

Given that Bournemouth lost six of their opening eight Premier League games this season, Howe has worked wonders to guide his side to within touching distance of the top half of the standings.

However, four matches without a win - all against opposition that Howe would class as at least on a par with his own players - has left the Cherries having to look over their shoulder as they enter a hectic period over Christmas and New Year.

Despite United having just suffered their first home defeat in 41 matches, Howe will feel that his players can be competitive at Old Trafford given that Bournemouth have not lost by more than one goal in any fixture since their 3-0 setback at Arsenal at the start of September.

The south coast team have also not conceded more than two goals in a single game since that disappointment in North London, but only a last-minute penalty save from Asmir Begovic in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace preserved that record.

In the final third, there will be relief for Howe having witnessed Jermain Defoe score in just his second match since a return to the club, although the veteran frontman may only be used from the bench on Wednesday.

Howe will be hoping that former United trainee Joshua King can contribute, too, with the Norwegian international only scoring twice from 14 league starts this season after being linked with Tottenham Hotspur during the summer.

Recent form: WWDLDD

Team News

Zlatan Ibrahimovic gives the thumbs-up ahead of the Premier League game between Manchester United and Newcastle United on November 18, 2017© Offside

Ibrahimovic could be considered for a first start to the season after recovering from a serious knee injury, while Juan Mata will hope for a recall after beginning the Manchester derby on the bench.

There is a doubt over the fitness of Marcos Rojo, who needed to be substituted at half time of that contest, but Phil Jones has been declared fully fit.

Mourinho must also decide whether to include Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his 18-man squad after leaving out the Armenian playmaker at the weekend, but Paul Pogba sits out the second game of a three-match suspension.

As for Bournemouth, Adam Smith is likely to return at right-back having served his one-game ban, while Harry Arter is in contention to come back into the starting lineup.

Callum Wilson or Benik Afobe are likely to replace Defoe, but Tyrone Mings is out after suffering a setback in his recovery from a back injury.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Young; Matic, Herrera; Mata, Lingard, Rashford; Lukaku

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Begovic; A.Smith, Cook, Ake, Daniels; Cook, Surman, Arter; Stanislas, King, Wilson

Head To Head

Wednesday's match represents just the 13th meeting between the two sides, with United recording seven victories in comparison to two wins for Bournemouth.

However, both of Bournemouth's triumphs have come at their home ground, with United prevailing in five of the six contests to be held in Manchester.

Bournemouth's one share of the spoils came in the corresponding fixture last season, with a penalty from Joshua King earning the visitors a 1-1 draw.

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We say: Manchester United 2-0 Bournemouth

United have less recovery time than Bournemouth ahead of this match, but we still expect the home side to run out convincing winners. Mourinho may take the opportunity to rotate his squad, but the North-West giants should still have enough to see off the Cherries.

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Sergio Aguero watches on during the Premier League game between Manchester City and West Ham United on December 3, 2017
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