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PREVIEW: AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United – 18/04/2018

AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United

Date: 18/04/2018

K/O: 19.45pm

Venue: Vitality Stadium

TV: BT Sport 1

Referee: Graham Scott

Bournemouth host Manchester United on Wednesday night, with Jose Mourinho’s side heading to the south coast in hope of recovering from their shock 1-0 defeat to low lying West Bromwich Albion in their last Premier League encounter.

For Eddie Howe’s side, Wednesday night’s contest could provide the three points that would secure their Premier League status for 2018/19, though after being humbled by Liverpool in a 3-0 defeat last time out at Anfield, the Cherries will have to start the game sharply and counter United’s inevitably superior levels of possession.

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Bournemouth will still be without Adam Smith and Junior Stanislas, whilst Tyrone Mings could be involved after returning to training following a long-term spell on the sidelines.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has announced he will make changes to the side beaten by West Brom. with Marcos Rojo, Scott McTominay and Phil Jones all potentially being recalled as well as Daley Blind, who has returned to fitness.

After comprehensive victories over Chelsea and Liverpool in recent months, it had appeared that Champions League qualification for the Red Devils was all but confirmed, as they strode out in front of the chasing pack and established a considerable lead on their rivals.

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United are still favourites to qualify for Europe’s top tier of competition in the 2018/19 campaign, though dropped points coupled against the Cherries with a victory for Chelsea against Burnley could mean an eight or nine point gap between Mourinho’s side and Antonio Conte’s side in fifth place. To dispel the notion of a remarkable, end of season slip-up, victory against Bournemouth on Wednesday night is paramount.

With Stoke, Southampton and West Brom seeming destined for the drop, it would beggar belief if Bournemouth were to get roped into a relegation dog fight, though for as long as they are not mathematically safe, Howe will be keen to reject complacency as he goes in search of his sides 10th Premier League win of the campaign.

Predicted Starting XI’s

BOU: Begovic; Francis, S Cook, Ake, Daniels; Fraser, Cook, Gosling, Ibe; King, Wilson.

MUN: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Young; Matic, McTominay; Rashford, Lingard, Sanchez; Lukaku.

Predicted Score: Bournemouth 2 Manchester United 1

Written by Tom Newman.

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