Competition: Premier League – AFC Bournemouth vs. Manchester United
Venue: Vitality Stadium – Saturday, December 12 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)
Match Odds: Bournemouth 11/5 – Draw 23/10 – Manchester United 5/4
Bournemouth come into this tie after one of the biggest results in their history last weekend with that stunning 1-0 away win over Chelsea.
Eddie Howe’s side are throwing up all sorts of surprises and are now unbeaten in their last three games. They need to continue to build on that run and ensure they pick up points where possible to avoid the dreaded relegation scrap.
Both sides have a number of notable absentees, but Howe will be the happier of the two managers and he will have his players pumped and ready to attempt another masterclass performance to upset another Premier League giant.
Manchester United need a pick-me-up in this one after crashing out of the Champions League in midweek, but this is not a fixture they will be looking forward to.
They come into the game after another dry performance against West Ham United last weekend as Louis Van Gaal saw his side draw 0-0 at home.
This is a must win game for United, but they are struggling in front of goal, and despite the midweek performance being one of their best attacking displays this season, they showed worrying defensive frailties in Wolfsburg.
The pressure is mounting on Van Gaal and he needs a reaction from his players here. This is a huge tie for Manchester United.
Bournemouth’s injury woes continue. Tyrone Mings, Max Gradel and Callum Wilson are long-term absentees, while Tommy Elphick, Christian Atsu, Marc Pugh, Sylvian Distin, Lee Tomlin, Joshua King and Adam Federici could all miss this clash.
Manchester United could be without up to ten players for this one. Luke Shaw, Wayne Rooney, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia are expected to miss out. Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling, Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera and Phil Jones are questionable and Bastian Schweinsteiger is suspended.
Bournemouth’s last five: L/L/D/D/W
Manchester United’s last five: D/W/W/D/D
Key Stat: Manchester United are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games but have only scored eight goals in those ties.
Key Player: David de Gea – United’s reliable last line of defence has been in great form once again this season and will need to be at his best here as his side prepare to face a Bournemouth side growing in confidence.
Bournemouth 1-1 Manchester United – Given Manchester United’s recent displays we aren’t expecting a goal-fest here, Bournemouth are in high spirits and a draw seems a likely result.