By William Hill
28th December 2018
Bournemouth must have been naughty during parts of 2018, given the kindness the Premier League fixture list has shown them this festive period. Their upcoming trip to Manchester United represents their fourth showdown with a ‘Big Six’ club during December.
Each of the other three have followed a familiar pattern, with a 4-0 home defeat by Liverpool, sandwiched between away losses at Manchester City (3-1) and most recently Tottenham (5-0) on Boxing Day.
Not only are the Cherries being beaten by the Premier League elite, but they’re also getting squashed by them of late. Our Man Utd vs Bournemouth prediction is that more of the same is in the pipeline for Eddie Howe’s men at Old Trafford.
Bournemouth’s December defensive difficulties
Looking back over the last six rounds of Premier League fixtures, no team has a worse defensive record than Bournemouth, who have shipped 15 goals in this period. This is an average of 2.5 goals being conceded per game during this stretch.
Furthermore, they have let in at least two goals in all of their six Premier League meetings so far this season with ‘Big Six’ teams. Their 18 conceded in total breaks down into an average of three goals per game.
Therefore, backing the Red Devils at 6/5 to score over 2.5 goals in the Man Utd vs Bournemouth odds may prove a shrewd move.
In fact, looking back into last season too, the Cherries have now lost nine on the bounce against the ‘Big Six’ and conceded at least twice in all of them.
Man Utd beating Bournemouth and scoring over 2.5 goals in the process can be backed at 13/10 in both clubs’ last fixture of the calendar year.
Man Utd’s attacking intent under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer’s stint in the Old Trafford dugout may only be two games old, but the lethal finishing of his playing days at the club seems to already be rubbing off onto the current squad.
Not only have Man Utd scored eight goals across their victories over Cardiff and Huddersfield, but their 19 attempts on target over the last two gameweeks is a Premier League high.
The back-to-back successes have lifted the Red Devils to within eight points of Chelsea in fourth in the league standings. They’re now 4/1 to finish in the top four.
In terms of who may bag against Bournemouth for the hosts, Marcus Rashford must be considered the most likely. Across Solskjaer’s two games, he has had the joint-most shots (eight with Paul Pogba), had three times more chances than any of his teammates in the box and had virtually double the number of penalty-box touches.
Rashford is expected to lead the line again and can be backed at 7/2 to open the scoring in our Man Utd vs Bournemouth predictions.