Manchester United vs Bournemouth - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- United has suddenly clicked into gear and will have designs on a top-three finish
- Time is running out for a Bournemouth team that has been abject since the restart
- A high-scoring home win could be on the cards at Old Trafford this weekend
|What||Manchester United vs Bournemouth|
|Where||Old Trafford, Manchester, England|
|When||Saturday, 4 July 2020, 11 AM EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports|
Manchester United delivered one of its standout performances of the season on Tuesday, cruising to a 3-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium. United was superb in the first half, moving the ball sharply and creating scoring opportunities at will. After the break it scored one of its best goals of the season, as Bruno Fernandes rounded off a thrilling counter-attack with a fine finish on the volley.
Brighton eventually improved in the final 20 minutes, with Leandro Trossard making an impact as a substitute. But United had already won the game by that point, leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a positive mood that was further boosted when Leicester City and Chelsea both lost the following day.
The Premier League’s midweek results mean United are now just two points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and three behind Leicester in third. Despite having been seventh as recently as the middle of February – just seven games ago – United is suddenly eyeing the position behind Liverpool and Manchester City in the table.
If confidence is high at Old Trafford right now, it is in short supply at the Vitality Stadium. Before Wednesday Brighton was the only member of the bottom six to have won a game since the Premier League returned last month, but Bournemouth’s form has been particularly pitiful. A 4-1 loss to Newcastle United on Wednesday saw Eddie Howe’s side drop to 19th place in the standings, and Bournemouth currently has the look of a team doomed to the Championship.
Manchester United vs Bournemouth Odds
|Match winner and total goals||Odds|
|Manchester United and over 3.5||+135|
|Manchester United and under 3.5||-106|
Odds taken from BetMGM
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United has scored three goals without reply in each of its last two encounters, which have seen Solskjaer select an attacking line-up featuring a front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood supported by attack-minded midfielders Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.
Given that Bournemouth is leaking goals at an alarming rate, United could easily better its recent tally of three per match. And the Cherries have always been a forward-thinking team, which may see them deny United a third clean sheet on the bounce.
Fernandes and Pogba Have Breathed New Life Into United Team
Fernandes has been so impressive for United since his arrival in the January transfer window that the club must regret not signing him earlier. United was heavily linked with the Portugal international last summer but was unable to reach an agreement with Sporting CP, his former employers.
Fernandes netted twice in the triumph over Brighton, which means he has now scored five goals and provided assists in his eight Premier League outings to date. Pogba has also reminded supporters how good he can be in the right system, while Greenwood looks to have nailed down the right-wing spot ahead of Daniel James.
Rashford has perhaps been the quietest member of the aforementioned quintet in United’s three games back, but that suggests the attack has not yet reached its full potential. With Fernandes and Pogba in tandem in midfield and a relatively kind schedule in front of it, United must now fancy its chances of finishing third.
Bournemouth’s Long-Serving Manager Looks Short of Answers This Time
There can be no denying that Howe has done a sensational job as Bournemouth manager. When he took charge for the first time in 2009, the south-coast side had recently been deducted 17 points and almost certainly faced relegation to the fifth tier of English soccer. Instead Howe – aged just 32 – kept Bournemouth up and led it to promotion the following season.
After an underwhelming spell at Burnley, he returned to the Vitality Stadium in 2012 and led Bournemouth into the Premier League three years later. The Cherries successfully avoided relegation in each of the following four seasons, and usually found themselves comfortably clear of the drop zone at this stage of the campaign.
Yet Howe suddenly looks short of ideas. Bournemouth is conceding far too many goals and is not as effective in attack as it once was. There is no discernible plan B if its front-foot game plan is not working, and the players look demoralized after a poor run of form. Howe has a huge job on his hands to keep Bournemouth in the division.
United’s Attack Is Purring and Bournemouth’s Defense Is as Leaky as Ever
United has looked slick in recent victories over Sheffield United and Brighton, and it is hard to envisage a Bournemouth defense that shipped four goals to low-scoring Newcastle keeping Fernandes, Pogba et al. quiet.
Another option here might be a United win to nil, but throughout its Premier League stay Bournemouth has continually demonstrated a willingness to get bodies forward, even against the division’s biggest teams. That could bear fruit in the form of a single goal, but United fans should expect another comfortable match overall.
Take the Manchester United win and over 3.5 goals option here – it is difficult to see Bournemouth keeping the score down.