A look ahead to Manchester United's game against Bournemouth
If the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era has taught us one thing, it’s not to get carried away too soon.
It’s tempting right now, after three successive away wins, to believe our problems are fixed.
Just hold fire for now. Let’s see if we can win a fourth, and beat Bournemouth on the road this weekend.
Bournemouth have a strong record
A lunchtime kick-off on Saturday against a team which have rested up all week is not ideal.
Bournemouth are a good team. United should not underestimate them.
This season they are level on points with us on 13. United aspire for better. That means looking to put distance between ourselves and the likes of the Cherries.
With respect though, Bournemouth are hard to beat. They have lost just one home match all season, and conceded only three more goals than we have.
A draw would seem like dropped points as we look to build up a run of wins, but in context of our away record in recent months, it wouldn’t be terrible, it just wouldn’t do much for us.
Bournemouth ran United close in the away game last season and we needed a late goal to clinch a 2-1 win.
It came down to a moment of magic from Paul Pogba to set up an injury time winner for Marcus Rashford.
Pogba won’t be available this weekend, but Rashford and the other goalscorer that day Anthony Martial both will be.
Manager at the time Jose Mourinho said after the game he was ‘the luckiest manager in the Premier League’ [BBC] to get a win, after we defended so poorly in the first half.
That made it three successive wins away to Bournemouth for United, but they did beat Louis van Gaal’s side 2-1 at home in 2015.
Another loss in Saturday’s early game would ruin our weekend, and the team’s good progress. It would probably mean slipping back into the bottom half of the table by time Sunday’s fixtures are done.
‘If’ we win
A win for United will send a message that we are back on track.
These four away fixtures had potential to be really difficult, and so far we are three for three.
A victory might see us close in on the Champions League places and instil optimism back into the fanbase, and end any speculation about Solskjaer’s job.
The problem with the three wins so far this past week is that only one has been in the Premier League. We need a second, or we will be back to square one.
The game at Bournemouth is followed by two home games against Partizan and Brighton. Six successive wins in all competitions sounds possible.
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