Bournemouth produced one of the best results in their history last weekend as they became the latest side to leave Stamford Bridge with three points. Man Utd, meanwhile, were serving up another nil-nil at Old Trafford and following the midweek Champions League departure that involved some bizarre substitutions the fans are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with Louis van Gaal, even if there is not currently any pressure from the board.
With midweek injuries to Damian and Smalling the United defence may well be highly inexperienced and, despite injuries to key attackers, Bournemouth have been finding the target in recent games so will be confident of taking advantage. However, United have only lost one of their 16 trips to promoted teams since 2010/11, while winning 11 times, and the cautious tactics of Van Gaal have meant they’ve been a tough side to beat this season.
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Bournemouth have kept just two clean sheets this term, against struggling Chelsea and Sunderland, and they’ve won only one of their seven home matches while losing against the likes of Newcastle and Aston Villa. United’s price has been drifting ever since their Champions League exit and they have reached a point where the handicap line is offering some cover on the draw. At that point they deserve to be backed, regardless of the injury situation, and the -0.25 handicap is available at 1.97.
Of course with those defensive problems, and a back four of Varela, McNair, Blind, and Borthwick-Jackson is a possibility, we have to consider both teams to score and Over-Goals. Both sides have netted in nine of Bournemouth’s last 13 matches, but of course neither side tends to score in United’s game. The Red Devils did show greater attacking potential in midweek and with Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger both unavailable Van Gaal may be forced to play a more expansive game. Six of United’s last 10 trips to promoted teams have had at least four goals and why it is a slightly contrarian selection given their recent form, those performances have caused the price to drift far more than usual and Over 3.5 Goals can be backed at 3/1.
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