Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now made it two wins from as many matches in charge of Manchester United, with his first at Old Trafford coming against Huddersfield on Boxing Day.
It might have taken longer than expected for the Red Devils to open the scoring against the Terriers, but they were fully deserving of the three points and now look a more complete team under the Norwegian.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth started the season strongly, but their recent loss to Tottenham in a 5-0 rout will not have gone down well with the fans.
The Cherries have slipped into the bottom half of the table and are sitting in 12th, although there are only two points between them and seventh place.
Solskjaer’s main objective will be trying to turn Old Trafford back into a place that teams fear, which means accumulating successive wins. At too many times under previous managers have opposition clubs had enough optimism to leave with a result.
Here are three betting tips to consider ahead of Sunday’s 4.30pm kick-off.
Since Solskjaer has taken over from José Mourinho, Manchester United have looked all the better for it. While the Norwegian coach, currently on a short-term contract from Molde, has not drastically changed the club, he has given the players the confidence to go out and express themselves.
The most important thing for those United players is to be given the license to go out and attack, while not being regimented in their positions in a deep-lying system, as they were under Mourinho.
Solskjaer has allowed his creative players to be just that and so fans are now witnessing a Man United side that is enjoying their football once more and look fluid on the ball.
Bournemouth gave United a close game earlier in the season, even if the Red Devils came away 2-1 victors from Dean Court. Howe’s team boast some inform attacking players such as David Brooks, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson, but it’s their defence that has been easily torn apart this season.
The Cherries have conceded 33 goals in the league, which does not paint a particularly pretty picture for their defence under Howe, and have been unable to find consistent form over the Christmas period.
Their latest thumping at the hands of Tottenham will have shown United how to take advantage of their defensive mishaps.
Manchester United’s players are 4/11 (Bet365) to make it three wins in three under new boss Solskjaer.
It has been evident this season to see that Man United are not a team that can keep many clean sheets, having conceded 31 goals in the Premier League alone so far. Under Mourinho, United’s defence was a mess and it was clear why the Portuguese boss wanted to bring in an experienced central defender.
However, in Solskjaer’s two games so far, the back four is beginning to patch its wounds and create a foundation to play from. While they have conceded in both games, one was a dubious penalty decision from a handball and the other a simple case of a lack of concentration.
By all means, United’s defence is definitely showing signs of improvement with David de Gea – who has had his best-in-the-league status debated this season – continually making world-class saves, just as he did against Huddersfield.
Bournemouth certainly have players that can pose threats to United’s defence, but this might just be the game that everything clicks into place for their back four and they end the 90 minutes with their first clean sheet for several months.
If there is one player who has benefitted from Mourinho leaving the club, it has been Paul Pogba. The Frenchman has enjoyed a new lease of life since Solskjaer arrived, recording three assists and scoring twice in the two games the Norwegian has overseen.
While Solskjaer has not revolutionised the way Pogba and Manchester United play the game, he has given the players the ability to go out and play the way they want to - in an attacking manner. Pogba thrives off runners around him and space to attack into, which is exactly what he has seen in these two matches.
Pogba is consistently criticised for his performances but he will now have the bit between his teeth to make sure they are seeing the real him. The World Cup winner's two goals against Huddersfield show what he can bring in an attacking sense, and football bettors can capitalise on that.
Playing in a more advanced role with less defensive duties, the France international is allowed to stride forward with the aim to get in and around the box. United needed more numbers forward in attacking positions and now, with Pogba, they have a someone who can create chances and score goals.
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