For Manchester United, their motivation Saturday is crystal clear- fending off arch-rivals Liverpool FC to finish in the top four (and we have detailed that race below). But what about their opponents, AFC Bournemouth? It would appear that they have only pride to play for, as they have already secured their stay in the top flight for next season.
Credit manager Gary O’Neil, as it wasn’t very long ago that the Cherries were considered among the strongest contenders to be relegated. At one point this season, they lost 11 of 15, with just two wins and two draws comprising the other four results.
However, they started their climb out of the bottom with a 1-0 win over Liverpool, and they have now won six of their last 10 league fixtures, and that included a big 3-2 result at Tottenham Hotspur.
Manchester United at AFC Bournemouth FYIs
Kickoff: Sat May 13, 3pm GMT, Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, UK
United Team News: go here
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Google Probability: Man United Win 64% Draw 20% AFC Bournemouth Win 12%
PL Standings: Man United 4th 66pts AFC Bournemouth 14th, 39 pts
PL Form: Man United WLLWD AFC Bournemouth LLWWL
Race for Top Four/UCL and UEL
3rd. Newcastle United 66 points, 35 matches played, +32 goal differential
Matches Remaining: Brighton on Thursday, May 22 vs Leicester, @ Chelsea May 28
4th Manchester United 66 points, 35 matches played, +10 goal differential
Matches Remaining: @ Bournemouth May 20, vs Chelsea May 25
5th Liverpool FC: 65 points, 36 matches played, +28 goal differential
Matches Remaining: vs Aston Villa May 20, at Southampton May 28
6th Brighton: 58 points, 34 matches played, +21 goal differential
Matches Remaining: this one against Newcastle, at Southampton May 21, at Man City May 24, at Aston Villa May 28
Man United Starting XI Prediction vs AFC Bournemouth
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Martial; Rashford.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.