Manchester United face a struggling Bournemouth team this weekend at Old Trafford.
Bournemouth conceded four goals at home to Newcastle this week, and they have lost all three of their fixtures since the league restarted.
United should not underestimate them, but this match is a real opportunity for striker Odion Ighalo to break a 96 year club record, if he is selected to start.
Scoring in every start
Ighalo has scored in all four of his Manchester United starts since joining on loan in the transfer window, netting five times in those matches.
As the club’s official website noted, Ighalo is the first United player since Jimmy Hanson back in 1924 to score in his first four starts.
Hanson did not score in his next game, which means if Ighalo can score in his next start, he will stand alone in the record books.
So far Ighalo’s goals have come against what you could describe as ‘softer’ opposition, Club Brugge, Derby County, LASK and Norwich City.
Bournemouth may fit in the same category, but it would require the Nigerian to net his first Premier League goal for United. He has come close, previously hitting the post against former club Watford.
If Ighalo could achieve this, it would be quite momentous, and really would underline what an effective player he has become for the club since joining, and further ram the doubters taunts straight back at them.
Will he start?
This is the question only Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can answer. At present, Ighalo is behind Anthony Martial in the pecking order.
Martial has started all three of United’s games since the restart, but he did play 78 minutes against Brighton, and after the Bournemouth game, there is a match next Thursday away to Aston Villa to plan for.
Solskjaer may want United’s best team out, to try and kill Bournemouth off early, as we did against Brighton.
However, if United play the rest of our normal front six, Rashford, Greenwood, Fernandes and Pogba, then Ighalo could just swap in for Martial perhaps without too much drop off.
Playing with the rest of United’s first choice XI would give Ighalo a great chance of breaking the record.
If he does not get a start against the Cherries, then the next opportunities are away at Palace, and then possibly at home to Southampton the following Monday night.
It would make sense to start Ighalo in one of these games, probably one of the home fixtures.
What matters most is that United win and get three points in each of them, but if Ighalo can set a new record along the way, it would be fantastic to see.
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