Bournemouth vs Manchester United – Premier League match preview

Manchester United rue injury woes as they seek revenge at Bournemouth in the Premier League for December’s home defeat.

Erik ten Hag
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag faces a tough task to qualify for the Champions League next season [Toby Melville/Reuters]

Who: AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United, Premier League
Where: Vitality Stadium
When: Saturday, April 13 16:30 GMT
Head-to-head record: 21 games – 14 wins for Manchester United, four for Bournemouth, three draws

The absence of key players in defence has had a negative impact on Manchester United’s season, manager Erik ten Hag said as he continues to cope with an injury crisis at the Premier League club with six defenders unavailable.

Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans are the latest names on the long list of injuries at United as the duo joined fellow centre-backs Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof and left-backs Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia on the sidelines.

United, sixth in the league with 49 points, visit Bournemouth on Saturday. United are 11 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with seven games remaining.

“It’s very difficult,” Ten Hag told reporters on Friday.

“Everyone who has a little bit of knowledge about football, they know it will affect your performance and your results so the back four is always the foundation to get results.

“We didn’t have that but still we have to win. We all have to take the responsibility, but when you oversee it, then you know it has a negative impact.”

Maguire has been a ‘great leader’ for Man United

The Dutchman said Harry Maguire, who was linked with a move away from the club in the close season last year, has been an important figure in the team.

“We were always happy with Harry, but he wants to play,” ten Hag said.

“He’s a great leader, very good defender, very comfortable on the ball. When I count all of those abilities when we have our [injury] problems in our defensive line, he is even more important to lead that line, to make us play from the back.

“We are very pleased he’s there and we need him to get our results and achieve our targets.”

To make matters worse, forward Marcus Rashford and midfielder Scott McTominay are a doubt for the clash against Bournemouth, who are 12th. The pair are set to be assessed before the game.

“Scott, I don’t think so. We have training, so we have a day, he will push. He’s so keen to be a part of it, but there’s questions,” ten Hag said.

“Rashy trained yesterday, and we’ll see how he recovers from it today. There’s another training today and then we will make the decision.”

Bournemouth hope for Old Trafford repeat

Bournemouth manager, Andoni Iraola, has been named Premier League Manager of the Month after recording three wins and a draw in March.

The Cherries lost last weekend to Luton Town, but will look to bounce back against a United side that they stunned 3-0 in the reverse fixture in December.

“It was nice to win it for the first time,” he said. “We’ve been close in a couple of other months and it’s good to win this recognition but it’s good to take these results.”

Antoine Semenyo and Marcus Tavernier miss out after picking up injuries in Bournemouth’s defeat by Luton last week.

Chris Mepham is ill and will also miss the game alongside Tyler Adams, Ryan Fredericks and Luis Sinisterra.

“United will come here wanting to beat us and be better in the duels. We will have to be at our best,” Iraola added.

“We have lost some players but it’s a chance for others to step up and show that they are good players and can play against this opposition.”

Al Jazeera Sport will have live coverage of the match from Old Trafford, including four hours of build-up followed by full text commentary and post-match reaction.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies