Friday 11 December 2015

Match preview: Bournemouth v United

United will travel to the South Coast on their longest away trip of the season without nine regular first-team players as injury and suspension stretches the squad to the limit.

Chris Smalling- an ever present so far this term- and Matteo Darmian have now been added to that lengthy list with groin and hamstring injuries respectively and Bastian Schweinsteiger is suspended for this Saturday tea-time kick off. 

Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia remain sidelined with Phil Jones, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw also all unavailable and Morgan Schneiderlin is returning to fitness but the Bournemouth match looks likely to come too soon.

This first ever league meeting between the  sides comes at the end of a difficult week for United but Eddie Howe's Cherries go into this one in buoyant mood off the back of a famous win at champions Chelsea and are rapidly adapting to life at the top level.

Speaking on Friday, United manager Louis van Gaal said he believes that four of his injured players are close to returning, whilst he added that he has 'no doubts' about where he can take United.

"I think that Herrera, Jones, Darmian and Smalling shall be back before Christmas and this is good because we have a lot of games.
"Schneiderlin is coming back so that's not a problem but we have a list of eight players injured and Marcos Rojo has been operated on and it shall take a long time.
"These injuries are very heavy- Shaw and Valencia have been operated on also and that's our problem.
"You have to accept that in sport you shall win and you shall lose- you cannot win all the time but as a manager and as a team you have to work very hard and we are doing that.
"We have to meet with expectations but that can be difficult because I think that expectations  at a club like this are very high."

Bournemouth moved out of the bottom three with that win at Stamford Bridge last week and face United unbeaten in three, despite having suffered injury problems of their own with long-term absences to key trio Callum Wilson, Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings (former Red Josh King currently plies his trade for the Cherries and caught the eye at Stamford Bridge). 

Form guide: Bournemouth L L L D D W United W W D D D L
Match odds: Bournemouth 13/5 Draw 5/2 United 13/10
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

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