Barclay’s Premier league, 1st round
Bournemouth vs Manchester United
Venue: Dean Court stadium
Date and time: 14 August, 2016, 14:30 CET
Manchester United open the new Premier league season with a meeting with Bournemouth. These two teams faced each other in the final fixture of 2015/16 season, too.
Despite losing that encounter, the Cherries have managed to remain in the top division at the end. They have occupied the 16th place and accomplished the main goal. Now Eddie Howe’s men are prepared to fight for a higher place in this new campaign.
On the other hand, Manchester United have strengthened their squad with 4 new top players: Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Moreover, their strongest addition is Jose Mourinho’s appointment on the manager’s position.
Can Red Devils have an easy start?
The Mancunians have everything to succeed in their season opener. The Old Trafford outlet triumphed in FA Community Shield few days ago. It boosts the team’s confidence and lets them dream of bigger achievements.
United’s possible line-up
Jose Mourinho has finally got Paul Pogba in his team, and it’s very likely that we’ll see the Frenchman from first minutes on Dean Court pitch. The 3 other big signings of this summer are expected to feature in Mourinho’s eleven, too, which will probably look as follows:
Valencia – Bailly – Blind – Shaw
Mkhitaryan – Rooney – Martial
Mourinho is a big fan of counter-attacking 4-2-3-1 tactics. He has been using it since Porto times. Providing that Manchester United play with this squad, they have a much greater chance to add three points to their account in the upcoming match.
It’s still a doubt whether Chris Smalling will make it into the match call or not. The English defender is back from injury, but his physical conditions are far from being ideal. Howbeit, Daley Blind has already secured himself as a very versatile player who can easily close gaps in any position in defence. Mourinho will undoubtedly opt for his presence on the pitch.
In the centre of the park, Pogba and Schneiderlin are favourites to receive a starting role. Mkhitaryan, Rooney and Martial will line up in front of this duo. The quality of United’s football mainly will depend on these three stars, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be a tower in the opponent’s yard, which will try to rebound the ball into the net.
Will Bournemouth complicate Man Utd’s life?
Premier league has taught us many times that neither of clubs is an underdog there. Even a 1% chance can transform into a victory against the hardest rivals. Bournemouth were able to defeat Man Utd during the last season. You didn’t forget Junior Stanislas’s direct corner-kick golazo in the second minute, did you?
Playing in front of home public at their castle Dean Court, the Cherries will be a constant threat not only for MU, but for all their future opponents of the season, too.
Eddie Howe’s team hosted Valencia in their most recent friendly. Against all expectations, the Spanish team didn’t find the key to victory in that match (1-1). This draw helped the Bournemouth side to finish their preseason without tasting a single defeat. They have remained unbeaten ahead of new Barclay’s Premier league campaign.
Bournemouth’s possible line-up
Howe opted to play his almost strongest line-up against Valencia, testing it for the last time before sailing towards EPL river. For the season opener, his choice will possible stop on the following starting eleven, which will line-up with 4-4-2 tactics:
Ake – Francis – S. Cook – Daniels
Stanislas – Arter – Surman – Ibe
Gradel – Wilson
Keeping in mind the fact, that every team tries to start the new league in the best possible manner, it can be assumed, that Bournemouth are going to complicate their famous opponent’s life. It shouldn’t be a surprise for the Manchester fans if their team fails to outscore the hosts at Dean Court.