Eddie Howe on the mic
And in the interest of fairness, here is the Bournemouth boss…
We go to one of the toughest places in the Premier League. That in itself has to pick us up. These are tough games. We are going to need to rise to the challenge. We know we have to perform to the highest level.
I retain the belief and the players do. We need a bit of luck to land for us. We just need something to fall for us. Hopefully we can create that today.
On Steve Cook’s absence after the defender said the team ‘played like kids’ in defeat to Newcastle
He’s injured. There was no direct upset with what Cooky said. It was probably the way it came across. He’s injured. We will miss him.
On top four ambitions
It’s nice to have a shot at the top four, that’s what we are fighting for, we want to get to the Champions League next year. We just need to win one game at a time, the boys have been good at focusing on the task in hand.
On Pogba/Fernandes injury rumours circulating last night
That’s just part and parcel of being here, always speculation and stories
We have spoken about it, the next five games are against teams we have lost points against. We have got a point to prove.
All over at Carrow Road
Very much an air of resignation now in East Anglia as bottom side Norwich lose 1-0 to Brighton in the early kick-off. Doesn’t change a great deal for Bournemouth who are six points better off than Norwich although Brighton pull nine points clear of the bottom three. Safety cushion.
Treble switch for Bournemouth
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe makes three changes from the side humbled 4-1 by Newcastle on Wednesday, with Diego Rico, Junior Stanislas and Lewis Cook brought in.
No changes by OGS
There had been speculation over the fitness of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba but both are fit to start and continue their midfield partnership
Team news is out
Manchester United: de Gea, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, Matic, Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Martial.
Subs: Bailly, Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred, James, Romero, Ighalo, McTominay, Williams.
AFC Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Smith, Ake, Kelly, Rico, Brooks, Lewis Cook, Lerma, Stanislas, King, Solanke.
Subs: Boruc, Gosling, Surman, Danjuma, Stacey, Harry Wilson, Billing, Travers, Surridge.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
Tough afternoon ahead for Bournemouth?
A match up between two teams experiencing completely contrasting fortunes since the Premier League restarted. One scoring for fun and yet to taste defeat. The other stuck firmly in reverse gear, struggling to get the engine going after a long time static on the sidelines. That said, Bournemouth were not exactly going great guns before the coronavirus-enforced break either but a trip to Old Trafford to face an in-form Manchester United side will be the last thing they would want, especially with leading goalscorer Callum Wilson unavailable as he completes a two-match suspension.
Stranger things have happened – and United are not averse to chucking in an awful performance, let’s not forget – but this could be a fill your boots kind of day for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
United’s 15-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W11, D4) is their longest since a streak of 17 games without defeat between November 2016 and January 2017 while they are unbeaten at home against Bournemouth in all competitions, winning seven and drawing one.
They’re also looking to win four consecutive home league matches without conceding for the first time since a run of six ending in October 2017 and can keep a clean sheet in six successive home fixtures in all competitions for the first time since October to December 2015.
Saying all that….Bournemouth are vying to complete their first league double over Manchester United following a 1-0 victory at home in November. Although November is a very, very long time ago, especially for Bournemouth fans.
Eddie Howe’s side are enduring a run of seven straight away defeats in the league and haven’t scored a league goal from open play in five hours and 51 minutes. An unrivalled 53% of their 30 goals this season have come via set pieces.
That’s the scene setter, let’s get some team news…