Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking a third win from three games as Manchester United manager when his men host Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Comfortable wins over Cardiff and Huddersfield have been recorded but while the Red Devils have impressed, there is a sense that they have not truly been tested yet.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth will not make the trip north with any great expectations, as they have lost their last five on the road and suffered a 5-0 thumping at Tottenham in midweek.
Squads & Team News
Position Man United squad
Goalkeepers De Gea, Grant, Romero
Defenders Lindelof, Bailly, Jones, Rojo, Young, Dalot, Shaw, Valencia, Darmian
Midfielders Pogba, Mata, Lingard, Pereira, Fred, Herrera, Fellaini, Matic, McTominay, Gomes, Hamilton
Forwards Sanchez, Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Chong, Bohui
Alexis Sanchez has stepped up his training and could feature in some manner, while Romelu Lukaku has joined back up with the squad after being granted compassionate leave.
Anthony Martial is fit again after illness, but Marcos Rojo and Scott McTominay are both very doubtful. Chris Smalling is out.
Possible Man Utd starting XI: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matic; Mata, Pogba, Martial; Rashford
Position Bournemouth squad
Goalkeepers Boruc, Ramsdale, Begovic, Travers
Defenders Francis, S. Cook, Ake, Daniels, A. Smith, Rico, Mings, Simpson
Midfielders Gosling, Surman, Pugh, Lerma, Ibe, L. Cook, Stanislas, Brooks, Fraser, Dobre, Ofoborh
Forwards Mousset, Wilson, King, Defoe
Bournemouth suffered a major blow in midweek as it was confirmed that Simon Francis, their captain, had sustained knee ligament damage that is set to rule him out for the rest of the season.
Adam Smith, Lewis Cook and Dan Gosling are already long-term injury worries.
Possible Bournemouth starting XI: Begovic; Mings, Cook, Ake; Ibra, Brooks, Lerma, Surman, Rico; King, Wilson
Betting & Match Odds
Manchester United are 4/11 favourites with bet365 to continue their winning run. Bournemouth can be backed at 8/1 to cause an upset, while a draw is priced at 9/2
Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
Manchester United have made a flying start to life under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer,with comfortable wins over Cardiff and Huddersfield the perfect manner for the Norwegian to start life in the Old Trafford dugout.
Not only has Solskjaer got United winning games, he has got them entertaining once more after the dour reign of Jose Mourinho.
Players such as Paul Pogba, who previously appeared shackled and unhappy, are showing signs of returning to their best, with the Frenchman netting twice on Boxing Day to help his side overcome the Terriers.
“I cannot do anything for their performances on the pitch,” the former Molde boss said on Friday. “Paul has done it himself. My chats with Anthony Martial, Romelu [Lukaku], Alexis [Sanchez], I’m here to put them on the path and it’s up to them to do it on the pitch. It’s up to them when they get a chance; that’s the name of the game as a footballer – you’ve got to do it yourself.
“I gave some guidelines of course on expression, freedom of expression, but that’s how I’ve always been as a manager. You can’t tell the players what to do in this position. Just enjoy playing for this club – that’s the best time of your life.”
United are fully expected to overcome a Bournemouth side that has won many plaudits under Eddie Howe but currently find themselves in the midst of a worrying slump.
“It’s a tough game and we’re going to need to rise to that challenge,” the Cherries’ manager explained.
“They’ve had two really good results and two good performances. We look forward to going there, we always have done, and we look forward to a good game.”
The Red Devils have won five of their last six against Bournemouth, including a 2-1 success earlier this season. SHARE THIS STORY USING ANY OF THE BUTTON BELOW ⬇ PLACE YOUR TEXT ADVERT BELOW ⬇⬇⬇