Sunday, October 22, 2017

Prediction: Manchester United vs Bournemouth

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

After missing a perfect opportunity to climb to fourth ahead of the final round of fixtures, Manchester United now hold a slim hope of leapfrogging local rivals Manchester City on the final day of the season. Meanwhile, AFC Bournemouth will be looking to celebrate the end of a very successful season with a solid showing at Old Trafford.

Manchester United

These season cannot exactly be deemed a success for Manchester United, especially now that they are almost certain to miss out on a Champions League qualification, but they still stand a good chance of lifting the FA Cup trophy. On top of that, one should not forget that a host of talented youngsters have flourished under Louis van Gaal, so the future definitely looks bright for the Red Devils, even though the Dutch manager is unlikely to stay beyond the current season. Manchester United showed serious improvement since Wayne Rooney returned to the side, with the England captain pulling the strings in midfield, but they just could not match the intensity of West Ham in what was the crucial fixture for their Champions League hopes. The two late goals conceded in the last ever game at Boleyn Ground mean that Manchester United not only need to beat Bournemouth but also need Man City to lose to Swansea in order to clinch the final Champions League berth, which does not seem like a realistic possibility.

Team News

Marouane Fellaini continues to miss out through suspension, whereas Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw are out injured.

Jesse Lingard and Michael Carrick could be recalled to the starting line-up, with Ander Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin expected to be dropped.

Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth produced quite a coup by gaining promotion to the Premier League, but not too many people believed they could survive the maiden campaign with the club having failed to properly reinforce the squad over the summer. But, even though they needed some time to adapt to the new surroundings, the Cherries did surprisingly well and managed to secure top flight survival with several games to spare. Granted, they appear to have switched off after reaching the 40-point mark, taking just one point from last four league fixtures, but at least they managed to score a goal in each of those games. Manager Eddi Howe took advantage over the opportunity to give some fringe players a chance to shine, while fielding a very attacking line-up against West Bromwich, and chances are he will again experiment with his starting line-up. With both teams scoring in each of their last five fixtures, another high-scoring game appears on the cards, and the Cherries will not be lacking motivation at Old Trafford even if their opponents need a win much more than they do.

Team News

The likes of Sylvain Distin, Tyrone Mings, Adam Smith are all out injured, meaning manager Eddie Howe has limited options at the back.

However, Harry Arter is now back in contention, while Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie are both pushing for recalls.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Bournemouth recorded a 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture
  • Both teams scored in Cherries’ last five games
  • Man Utd are unbeaten in last ten at home (W7 D3)
  • Bournemouth won three of last six away games in EPL
  • Man Utd need a win and Man City to lose to finish fourth

Conclusion

Manchester United have no choice but to go for a win from the very start and hope that Swansea will do them a huge favour by beating Manchester City. Bournemouth, on the other hand, have reverted to a more positive approach after securing survival and chances are both teams will score in their sixth successive fixture.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

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