Predicted Lineups: Projected Starting XI, Forecast, Strategy, Squad Updates & Vital Data

Arlo Gibbons


Manchester United will face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, in a Premier League weekend that should see them inch closer to a top-four finish. Erik ten Hag’s side have been working hard to book their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League, and with Liverpool only one point behind them in the Premier League standings, they cannot afford any margin for error. Despite a rocky start to the season and the dismissal of Scott Parker, the Cherries have been gradually moving up the table under the guidance of Gary O’Neil and are currently 14th with 39 points.

Manchester United will be without Tom Heaton, Lisandro Martinez, Marcel Sabitzer, Marcus Rashford and Donny van de Beek, while Phil Jones has played his final game for the club as announced by Manchester United this summer. However, Scott McTominay has regained fitness and will be available. David de Gea is an automatic pick between the sticks, with Manchester United lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him. The defensive unit should remain unchanged, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka starting as the right-back again.

As for the midfield unit, there is no arguing the combination of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen in the double pivot. Bruno Fernandes will function as the advanced midfielder, while Antony, Rashford (if fit), and Anthony Martial will spearhead the attack. Antony’s return to form since the injury of Rashford has been crucial for Manchester United‘s consistency, and they will need him and Martial to step up in Rashford‘s absence if he fails to recover in time for the clash.

In contrast, Bournemouth’s preparations ahead of their latest fixture are hampered by the absence of Hamed Traore, Ryan Fredericks, Antoine Semenyo, Junior Stanislas, and Marcus Tavernier. Neto has been a galvanizing figure for Bournemouth since arriving from Barcelona last summer and will once again don the armband and protect the goal. Lloyd Kelly has been improving with every passing week and is an automatic pick between the sticks, forming a central defensive partnership alongside Ilya Zabarnyi. Meanwhile, Adam Smith and Matias Vina will be the two full-backs, with Dango Ouattara and Ryan Christie being the two wide midfielders.

Jefferson Lerma and Joe Rothwell will be the two central midfielders for Bournemouth, and they will have to be at their best to keep things tight in the middle of the park while pushing the hosts forward with purpose. Finally, Dominic Solanke will spearhead the attack against Manchester United.

History suggests Manchester United has the upper hand in this fixture, with the reverse fixture ending in a 3-0 win for the Red Devils. However, Bournemouth has won their final home game in three of their five previous Premier League seasons, and their last encounter at the Vitality Stadium in November 2019 saw them win 1-0.

Therefore, with both teams having much at stake, the battle is set to be an intense one. Manchester United has been inconsistent on the road, but they cannot afford any slip-ups this time around. The Cherries’ form has dropped off in recent games, so the Premier League giants will look to capitalize. Ultimately, The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for the visitors, with Antony and Bruno Fernandes finding the back of the net.


Share This Article