AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Manchester United may have got their first victory of the season in early by claiming the Community Shield title last week. But the real test for Jose Mourinho starts now as their Premier League campaign gets under way at the Vitality Stadium against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth.
United have had a quiet pre-season, losing heavily to Borussia Dortmund, thrashing Galatasaray and winning the Community Shield against Leicester City last week. They go into the game heavy favourites against a Bournemouth side who have drawn with the likes of Portsmouth and Reading over pre-season, defeating only Cardiff. However, the Cherries won their game against United at the Vitality last season, and they will hope hat United’s shortened pre-season has left them slightly under-prepared for the game.
Predicted starting line-ups
As always with opening day fixtures both sets of fans will be excited to see some new faces in the side. Bournemouth fans should see a debut for record signing Jordon Ibe, as well as finally seeing Max Gradel in full fitness. They could also get a look at new signings Nathan Ake and Lewis Cook.
United will also be welcoming some Premier League debutants, although Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly represent a slightly more high profile trio than Bournemouth’s new additions. Daley Blind should keep his place in central defence despite speculation over his future, whilst Luke Shaw will return from his broken leg at left-back.
Bournemouth Line Up (4-5-1): Boruc; Smith, Francis, S. Cook, Daniels; Ibe, Gosling, Arter, Surman Gradel; Wilson
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Blind, Bailly, Shaw; Carrick, Fellaini; Lingard, Rooney, Martial; Ibrahimovic
Injuries and suspensions
United will be missing new world record signing Paul Pogba from the squad, after it was revealed that a ban from last season’s Coppa Italia final will be carried over to his new club. Bournemouth are still without long term absentee Tyrone Mings, whilst Junior Stanislas (a scorer in last season’s 2-1 win) also misses out with injury.
This will be the first chance to see Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, which makes it a hard game to predict, but the Community Shield showed us that they will be well organised with the quality up front to snatch a game. Bournemouth will work hard, as they always do, but expect the Red Devils to notch their first Premier League win under Mourinho with a very controlled performance.