In order to keep their faint hopes of finishing in the top 4 alive, Manchester United will take on Premier League newcomers Bournemouth on Sunday.
Courtesy of their late slip against West Ham in the midweek, Manchester United, in addition to winning their own game, will require Manchester City to lose theirs if they want to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Despite producing a spirited comeback in an otherwise emotional day for West Ham, Manchester United slipped in an unprecedented way to gift their opponents all the three points.
However, while their naivety to defend set pieces was exploited by Payet in that fixture, Louis Van Gaal won’t be a happy man when he takes a look at the set piece specialty of their upcoming opponents.
Although the Cherries have scored just 44 goals in the League this season – which isn’t huge by any stretch of the imagination, 12 out of those 44 goals have come from set-pieces.
Thus, if Manchester United want to keep their top 4 hopes intact, they would have to defend much better than what they did against West Ham in the midweek.
Apart from the set piece prowess of their opponents, there is not much to fear for the Red Devils.
After securing their stay in the Premier League for at least one more season, the form of Bournemouth has gone down in the last few weeks.
They have won just 1 of their last 6 games in the league, losing 4 and conceding 14 goals in the process. In the same time, the Red Devils have won 3 of their last 6 games.
To the discomfort of Manchester United fans, Daley Blind is again likely to start in the Manchester United defense.
The Dutchman was horrible against West Ham, however, injuries elsewhere might force Louis Van Gaal to give him another chance. Apart from that, the Manchester United defense is expected to be the same from the West Ham game.
On the offensive side, Rashford will be leading the line, with Martial providing a second scoring option from the left wing, and Rooney providing the offensive motor to the squad.
Here is how Manchester United are expected to lineup …