United vs Bournemouth Injury Report: Martial, Sanchez, Lukaku, Smalling, Francis

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Caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to continue his perfect start when Manchester United welcome AFC Bournemouth to Old Trafford this weekend. The 12th place Cherries are reeling, having just been blown out 5-0 by Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day. United meanwhile have their eyes on getting back into the top four, with the first two games of the Solskjaer era producing eight goals.

And, on paper at least, it looks like things could get even better with the attacking position group getting more fit. Forwards Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku missed the Boxing Day win over Huddersfield Town due to illness and a privacy reasons respectively.

ole gunnar solskjaer

Meanwhile Solskjaer says Alexis Sanchez is “touch and go” but probable to be involved somehow in the fixture at Newcastle United three days after this one. Martial, Lukaku and Alexis all went through very light training yesterday, and if the Friday training session goes well, all three could be involved in some capacity in the match on Sunday.

Midfielder Scott McTominay and defender Marcos Rojo will be returning to full fitness soon. “Looking like they can take part very soon,” Solskjaer said of the duo.

Defender Chris Smalling (sore foot) is out with Solskjaer saying at his Friday news conference that “I don’t think we’ll see him until the new year, maybe not even before Spurs (January 13), probably around that time, but you never know.”

In switching over to the visitors, team captain Simon Francis is now confirmed as out for the rest of the season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during that brutal one-sided defeat at the hands of Spurs.

Francis is now in the same category as Lewis Cook (knee), Dan Gosling (knee) and Adam Smith (knee)- long term absentees for the Cherries.

AFC Bournemouth at Manchester United FYIs

Kick-off: 4:30 pm (BST), 11:30 am (EST) Sunday December 30, Old Trafford

Google Result Probability: United win- 78%, Draw 19%, Huddersfield win- 11%

Odds via Bet Fair: United win 1/3, draw 4/1, Bournemouth 9/1

United Starting XI Prediction: go to this link

Solskjaer Press Conference Video: 

Prediction: United 3, Bournemouth 1

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation. 

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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