Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Prediction: Manchester United vs Bournemouth

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 3 Jul 2020

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Verdict: Home win by more than one goal

Best odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: bet365

The race for the Premier League title is already decided, but the battles against relegation and for European places still rage on. Round 33 of the 2019/20 campaign will see Manchester United welcome Bournemouth to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, in a game that’s likely to play a big part on both of these fronts.

Manchester United

Some of the millions of Red Devils supporters from around the globe may have been hurt to see arch-rivals Liverpool secure the Premier League trophy, but they will have all been greatly encouraged by what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have been doing lately.

United enter the round sitting in unwanted fifth place with 52 points, with Chelsea and Leicester City directly above with 54 and 55, respectively. With six matches still to be played for every team, the race for the last two Champions League spots will likely remain fierce until the very end. United need to be looking over their shoulders as well, with Wolverhampton Wanderers breathing down their necks with the same tally to their name. It should also be kept in mind that Manchester City face a suspension from Europe, which, if it’s confirmed, would mean that a fifth-place finish would also lead into UEFA’s elite club competition.

Be that as it may, United have taken the business very seriously since the return of football following the Coronavirus-induced three-month coma. They drew 1-1 away to Spurs first, and beat Sheffield United at home and Brighton and Hove Albion away since then, both by 3-0. Their last-six league game tally reads four wins and two draws.

Team News

Solskjaer won’t be able to call upon defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones, but as neither of them would be likely to get any minutes anyway, he won’t be too concerned about it on Saturday. Instead, he will be pleased that midfielder Paul Pogba has been on very good form lately, alongside Nemanja Matic and Bruno Fernandes. Those three should be in the starting XI unless Solskjaer decides to rotate his squad for this game.

Bournemouth

It has been a very different story for the Cherries this season. Following several years of firm top-flight status, they are now set to fight to the last breath for bare survival. Sitting in 19th place with 27 points, only Norwich City are in a worse situation with 21. However, those ahead aren’t too far away yet – Aston Villa are 18th also on 27, Watford in 17th have 28, and West Ham in 16th have 30. Norwich are obviously the only team whose chances of survival seem non-existent, but the battle is certainly worth fighting at this point for the rest of them.

Nonetheless, things don’t look good for Bournemouth and manager Eddie Howe will be aware of it. They lost all three of their league games since returning to action, getting bested by Crystal Palace at home, Wolves away and Newcastle United at home. Of their last six league outings, they managed to earn a single point, a 2-2 draw at home against Chelsea back in February. A grim record indeed.

Team News

Defenders Simon Francis and Charlie Daniels are still recovering from knee problems and won’t be traveling to Manchester, but Howe has no fresh injury issues to deal with in his squad. On the other hand, striker Callum Wilson is suspended, and that is certainly a big blow.

Conclusion

Given the contrasting runs of form, in addition to the vast difference in quality of the two teams, Bournemouth look set for a very hard day at the office on Saturday. United will be looking to make the most of their troubles and keep the vital three points to themselves, which they shouldn’t have too much difficulty in doing. It seems barely worth putting your money on a straight home win given the shortness of the odds, so you might want to try a handicap on this one.

Verdict: Home win by more than one goal

Best odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: bet365

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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