Manchester United’s creativity will be put to the test against Bournemouth after Norwich City proved to be the perfect opponents with their leaky defence.
Only Southampton (25) have conceded more goals than the Canaries (24), and that comes off the back of the Saints’ 9-0 walloping from Leicester City.
Daniel Farke’s side were praised for their bold attacking approach on the opening night of the season against Liverpool, they simply rolled the dice and made it an open game, but eventually succumbed to a 4-1 loss.
However, their courageous philosophy was rewarded against Manchester City, after they pulled off a famous 3-2 win against the defending champions.
Since that victory on the 14th September, Norwich’s performances and results have been nothing short of appalling.
They have one point from their last five games, which came against Bournemouth and brought their only clean sheet of the season so far.
Norwich played into United’s hands and as much as the vision and awareness from Daniel James for United’s second goal should be praised, Norwich showed their naivety.
Marcus Rashford was given the freedom of Carrow Road and slotted under Tim Krul after missing a penalty a moments earlier.
It seems at the moment for Norwich they only have one philosophy, live by the sword, die by the sword, which allowed Solskjaer’s side to pick them off.
Norwich simply couldn’t contain the movement of Martial and Rashford for United’s third, their defence was at sixes and sevens. They lack experience and a leader within their backline.
Manchester United scored as many goals in the game as in their previous six Premier League away games combined. The Red Devils finished with 11 shots on target.
It was the ideal match for United to win a Premier League away game for the first time since February.
How will Bournemouth differ?
However, United only managed one other shot on target, which was a tame Jesse Lingard effort.
Bournemouth sit 9th in the table, with 13 points the same as us. They have conceded 13 goals this season, only three more than our much improved defence.
Eddie Howe’s side come into Saturday’s game off the back of back-to-back goalless draws.
Since being promoted to the Premier League, Bournemouth’s defence has been leaky, last season they conceded 70 goals. Only relegated Huddersfield Town and Fulham conceded more.
But this season there has been a real onus on making their defence a robust and stingy unit, if they continue at their current rate, they are set for their best defensive year in the top flight.
How do United create chances?
Eddie Howe’s team are a young energetic side, who will give United problems through the likes of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and former Red Joshua King.
Bournemouth are likely to sit back in a compact shape, posing a threat on the counter attack, putting an onus on United to break the lines.
Fitness pending, Solskjaer will likely opt for a front three of James, Rashford and Martial, with Andreas Pereira, who is currently in possession of the number 10 spot slotting in behind.
The focus for United will be to move the ball quickly, taking one and two touches in an attempt to pull the Bournemouth defenders out of position and creating an opportunity to strike.
With Solskjaer being able to call upon what looks like his first choice front three, their pace and dribbling ability can give United the opportunity to stretch the game.
It will be up to the rest of the United team to get their best players on the ball in dangerous areas and create one v one opportunities for them, which will create panic in the Bournemouth backline.
The ideal scenario for United would be to grab a goal from a set piece, forcing The Cherries to be more adventurous and creating counter attacking chances.
A fourth away win in 10 days for United would be Solskjaer’s best run since being named permanent manager. The question is can Manchester United’s creativity stand up to the test posed by Bournemouth.
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