AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United: Premier League football is back

By Andy Hyslop

  • United kick off Premier League campaign against Bournemouth
  • Zlatan, Mkhitaryan and Bailly set for Premier League bows

Manchester United kick off their Premier League campaign for the 2016/17 season against AFC Bournemouth at Dean Court.

This will be the fourth season since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and for the third time United will start the season with a new manager.

The man this time is of course Jose Mourinho, someone who many feel should have been Ferguson’s successor.

In the seasons since the retirement of Sir Alex, United have finished seventh, fourth and fifth in the Premier League table.

Will the arrival of Mourinho see United challenging for a 14th Premier League crown and a 21st league title overall?

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Team News

Mourinho has made four additions to the Manchester United squad that lifted the FA Cup at the end of last season. Those are Zlatan, Mkhitaryan, Bailly and Pogba.

Zlatan, Mkhitaryan and Bailly have featured in the pre-season games, while Pogba only completed his return to United earlier this week and is suspended for this game.

Bailly looks set to start at the centre of United’s defence, with Chris Smalling lacking in match fitness and is suspended for this game after his cup final red card.

Predicted XI

David De Gea will start the game in goal behind a back four that is likely to contain Valencia, Bailly, Blind and the returning Shaw.

Mourinho has opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation in pre-season and we can’t see that changing for this game.

The midfield two is likely to consist of Carrick alongside Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera. Pogba is likely to feature in the midfield two but isn’t available for this fixture.

Zlatan is likely to be selected as the sole front man while the three selected behind him are likely to be Martial, Rooney and Lingard.

Opposition Focus

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has done a magnificent job on the South Coast. Bringing the club up from the fourth tier to the top flight for the first time.

Last season saw them finishing 16th in the table and Howe will be looking to improve that this season.

The highlight of the 2015/16 season for Bournemouth must have been back-to-back victories over Chelsea and United in December.

Howe has made several moves into the transfer market. Bringing in Jordan Ibe and Brad Smith from Liverpool for a combined fee of £18million.

Other new arrivals at Dean Court are Lewis Cook from Leeds United and Lys Mousset from Le Harve.

Bournemouth will be without Tyrone Mings and Junior Stanislas for this game. Mings has been out since early last season and is targeting a return in September.


About Andrew Hyslop 398 Articles

Creator of Sir Alex Ferguson Way and writer of football books

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