We look ahead to Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Old Trafford with our Manchester United vs Bournemouth prediction and preview. Having eased the pressure on Erik ten Hag by beating Chelsea, can the Red Devils build some momentum?
Manchester United vs Bournemouth Stats: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer makes Manchester United firm favourites for back-to-back wins, predicting that the Red Devils a 58% chance of beating a resurgent Bournemouth side on Saturday.
- Man Utd have never lost a home game against Bournemouth in 10 previous meetings in all competitions. They have only played more home games against Reading (12) without ever losing.
- Only against Leicester City (eight) and Arsenal (six) has Man Utd’s Marcus Rashford scored more Premier League goals than he has against Bournemouth (five).
Wednesday’s clash with Chelsea could have represented another crisis point for Manchester United, whose preparations for that game were marred by reports of player unrest, vehemently denied by boss Erik ten Hag. However, a team accustomed to grinding out uninspiring victories produced arguably their best performance of the season to beat the Blues, leaving them looking up ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Bournemouth.
Incredibly, despite the noise that continues to surround Ten Hag’s team, they enter Matchday 16 just three points behind Manchester City in the Premier League table. Since the start of October, only leaders Arsenal (19) have won more Premier League points than United’s 18, with the Red Devils winning six of their eight games in that time.
Scott McTominay scored either side of Cole Palmer’s leveller to hand United their 2-1 victory over Chelsea, though in truth, they should have won by a far greater margin, with Bruno Fernandes seeing an early penalty saved by Robert Sánchez as the Red Devils accumulated 4.17 expected goals (xG). That is the most amassed by any team in a Premier League game this campaign.
While McTominay grabbed the headlines, Fernandes provided the creative spark in an improved United display, teeing up five chances for his teammates. He has created at least five chances in 22 different Premier League games since his competition debut in February 2020, with only Kevin De Bruyne doing so more often in that time (23).
McTominay’s brace saw him surpass Fernandes and Rasmus Højlund (five apiece) to become United’s leading scorer across all competitions this term with six goals. Five of those have come in the Premier League, making this the Scot’s most prolific campaign in the competition, while 12 of his last 13 Premier League strikes have come at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag has a decision to make in attack ahead of Saturday’s game, having benched Marcus Rashford in midweek following Roy Keane’s criticism of the forward’s work rate. Alejandro Garnacho started alongside Antony and Højlund against Chelsea, but might Rashford’s excellent record against Bournemouth force a rethink?
Rashford has five Premier League goals against the Cherries, netting in his last three games against them at Old Trafford. Leicester City (eight) and Arsenal (six) are the only clubs he has scored more goals against in the competition.
United’s injury problems are beginning to ease somewhat, with Mason Mount back in training and Jonny Evans returning from the bench in midweek. Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, Lisandro Martínez and Tyrell Malacia are still sidelined, however.
Bournemouth travel to Old Trafford in high spirits after continuing their revival with Wednesday’s impressive 2-0 win at Crystal Palace. That result put further distance between the Cherries and the relegation zone, also extending their unbeaten run to four Premier League games (three wins, one draw). They last enjoyed a longer streak under Gary O’Neil last October, going six matches without losing (two wins, four draws).
Andoni Iraola appeared to be under severe pressure when Bournemouth took just three points from their first nine games of the Premier League season (three draws, six defeats), but they have since earned 13 points in six matches (four wins, one draw, one loss), finally getting to grips with the former Rayo Vallecano coach’s dynamic style of play.
Marcos Senesi and Kieffer Moore were on target for them at Selhurst Park, with loanee Luis Sinisterra assisting Senesi’s opener on his first league start for the club. The Colombian has been involved in four goals in his last five Premier League starts, after netting three times for Leeds United in April.
Only six Premier League sides have bettered Bournemouth’s 28 direct attacks this season, and their forward quartet of Sinisterra, Justin Kluivert, Antoine Semenyo and Dominic Solanke will hope to get more joy on the break on Saturday. Solanke’s eight Premier League goal involvements this season (seven goals, one assist) are twice as many as any other Bournemouth player, with Semenyo recording three goals and one assist.
Iraola has no new injury worries ahead of the game, though Alex Scott, Tyler Adams, Max Aarons and Lloyd Kelly are among Bournemouth’s long-term absentees.
Manchester United vs Bournemouth Head-to-Head
United have never lost a home game against Bournemouth in 10 previous meetings in all competitions, winning nine and drawing one against them at Old Trafford. They have only played more home matches against Reading (12) without ever losing one.
The Cherries won their very first Premier League game against United at the Vitality Stadium back in December 2015, but they have since earned just four points from 11 matches against them in the competition (one win, one draw, nine defeats).
United did the double over Bournemouth last season, triumphing 1-0 when the teams last met on the south coast in May, courtesy of Casemiro’s stunning overhead kick.
Casemiro was also among the goalscorers as United won this exact fixture 3-0 in January, with Luke Shaw and Rashford also on target, but the Brazilian will be absent through injury this time around.
Having overcome Sheffield United and Palace on their last two trips, Bournemouth could make it three successive away wins in the Premier League for just the second time.
They previously did so in April this year, though they followed that run with a return of just one point from their next seven away games (one draw, six defeats).
Though United have already suffered five home defeats across all competitions this season, they have won three of their last four at Old Trafford in the Premier League, beating Brentford, Luton Town and Chelsea, losing the other 3-0 to rivals Man City.
They should be wary of the challenge posed by Bournemouth, though, as they’ve made things awkward for several of the Premier League’s elite lately.
They have won three of their last six league matches against teams that finished in the top four the previous season (three defeats), beating Liverpool in March, Tottenham in April and Newcastle United in November.
Manchester United vs Bournemouth Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Diogo Dalot: 76.8 (out of 100)
André Onana: 76.7
Scott McTominay: 66.7
Victor Lindelöf: 65.1
Luke Shaw: 64.1
Dominic Solanke: 64.0 (out of 100)
Antoine Semenyo: 63.1
Lloyd Kelly: 61.6
Marcus Tavernier: 61.5
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Saturday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Manchester United vs Bournemouth Prediction
United are firm favourites to follow up Wednesday’s victory with another three points on Saturday, winning 58% of the 10,000 match simulations conducted by the Opta supercomputer ahead of kick-off.
Bournemouth are given a 20.6% chance of a memorable Old Trafford victory, with 21.4% of simulations finishing level.
According to the supercomputer’s season predictions, Man United’s midweek victory did little to boost their hopes of a top-four finish, which they only secure in 6.7% of scenarios – that’s below both Tottenham (12.0%) and Newcastle (26.4%). Seventh (19.1%) is their most common final position in the Premier League standings in our simulations, though they are given a 11.3% chance of finishing fifth – which could bring UEFA Champions League qualification due to the competition’s upcoming format change.
Bournemouth’s upturn, meanwhile, has seen their chances of relegation drop as low as 4.8% – better than Sheffield United, Burnley, Luton, Everton and Nottingham Forest – with Iraola’s men finishing 15th most often across our projections, doing so in 20.4% of scenarios.