By Ollie Cranham-Young
- United look to bounce back following a disappointing night in Germany
- United set to stay in contention for the title
- A win could see United return to the top of the league depending on other results
Following the recent crushing night in Germany, United look to bounce back from their Champions League exit with a win on the south coast and we could even see the Reds return to the helm providing other results go their way.
Van Gaal is desperate for his side to clinch an away win as pressure mounts on the boss following a surprising early exit from Europe’s elite competition.
Bournemouth currently sit 17th in the Premier League but will be full of confidence after Eddie Howe’s side defeated the Champions last weekend in their own back yard.
A win for United tomorrow evening would give them plenty of ammunition going into the busy festive period and we would also be pleased to see some of the attacking football United displayed at the Volkswagen Arena in midweek, something we haven’t seen from United for quite some time.
As we all know, United disappointingly bowed out of the Champions League in midweek and Louis Van Gaal’s men will quickly be hoping to bounce back although that may prove difficult with the amount of injuries United currently have to contend with.
The Reds sit fourth in the table, only three points behind league leaders Leicester City, whilst the Cherries are only above the relegation zone due to goal difference, despite clinching the three points away to champions Chelsea last weekend.
United’s defeat in Wolfsburg earlier this week was their first in 12 matches, the German side narrowly overcame United to eliminate Van Gaal’s side and send them crashing into the Europa League, alongside fellow north-west rivals Liverpool.
Despite this though, United haven’t lost in the league for over two months now and their most recent outing was last weekend’s stalemate with West Ham United.
Bournemouth’s Shock victory at Stamford Bridge was their first victory since September, when they defeated Sunderland. Bournemouth and Sunderland is currently the longest distance travelling Premier League fixture.
Unfortunately, United’s injury list is returning to the same state it was in at this point last year.
Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian are the latest additions to the ever growing injury list. Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera, Morgan Schneiderlin and Wayne Rooney could all miss out.
In addition to this, Bastian Schweinsteiger has received a three match ban from the FA, for his shoulder-barging in last weekend’s home tie to West Ham United and will not be in contention.
Bournemouth have just as many injury concerns themselves, with Sylvain Distin, Adam Federici, Lee Tomlin, Marc Pugh and Tommy Elphick could all miss out. Furthermore, Callum Wilson, Max Gradel, Tyrone Mings and Christian Atsu are all long-term absentees.
Bournemouth’s star man is Junior Stanislas having scored two late goals in Bournemouth’s dramatic 3-3 draw with Everton a fortnight ago. He also delivered the corner to goalscorer Murray at Chelsea last weekend.
Finally, an ex-Reds forward could feature in Josh King, who joined Bournemouth from Blackburn Rovers and played fantastically in Bournemouth’s last outing away at Chelsea.
League Leaders Leicester City could be knocked off top spot by the time they host Chelsea on Monday night, and we hope we see United at the helm going into the upcoming busy festive period.
Rivals Manchester City host Swansea at three o clock tomorrow afternoon, who recently sacked manager Garry Monk whilst second-placed Arsenal travel to bottom side Villa on Sunday Afternoon.
The Premier League is so unpredictable so who knows who will sitting on top of the Premier League come 10pm on Monday night.
With Manchester United missing up to nine first-regulars through injury and suspension, United really are down to the bare bones. The defence is especially sparse. Varela looks set to continue with Young expected to come in at left-back.
We expect Carrick and Schneiderlin to make up the midfield two with a front four of Memphis, Mata, Lingard and Martial.