It’s crucial that Manchester United beat Bournemouth when the two teams meet today at the Vitality Stadium. The pundits are all predicting the result our readers will want, which makes the Reds favourites to win.
Erik ten Hag’s main objective ahead of his first season in charge was to get the Reds back into the Champions League. To achieve that as things stand, the Dutchman needs his team to win two of the three matches remaining in the Premier League – starting at Bournemouth, which is United’s last away trip of the season.
That said, getting top four now would see Ten Hag do more than what was expected in his first season because he has already delivered the Carabao Cup and could achieve a cup double after securing a place in the FA Cup final against Man City.
For Bournemouth going into the game, I could be naive and say they are in holiday mode after securing a place in the top flight for next season. Luke Shaw spoke to club media and warned his teammates about not underestimating their opponents, which I think tells you a lot about some squad members in the dressing room.
Here are the pundits’ predictions for United’s trip to Bournemouth, including Chris Sutton, Mark Lawrenson and Paul Merson:
Chris Sutton (via BBC Sport)
“At the start of the season, Manchester United would have taken being in fourth place with three games to go, let alone with the Carabao Cup in the bag and the FA Cup final to come.
“Their away form has become a bit of a concern but I do think the fact Bournemouth are safe from the drop will help Erik ten Hag’s side here.
“I have been really impressed by the Cherries and I have been wrong about them so many times that I don’t want to just write them off again – but you can probably guess what I am going to say next.
“I am going with United to win, because of what is at stake for them. Two wins from their last three games will guarantee a top-four finish and they will be desperate to get over the line, with Liverpool in form and on their tail. It won’t be easy, but I am backing United to get one of them here.”
Sutton’s prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United
Mark Lawrenson (via PaddyPower, as per Manchester Evening News)
“Manchester United need to win this one. Bournemouth are safe, they’ve had a really good season but Man United have got three games left and they know they can’t afford any slip-ups the way Liverpool are going just behind them in the table.”
Lawrenson’s prediction: Bournemouth 0-2 Manchester United
Paul Merson (via Sportskeeda)
“Manchester United have to win this one and that will make this game entertaining to watch. Bournemouth have done great and they are safe now. I think that plays into Manchester United’s hands because the Red Devils have something to play for and the Cherries don’t. Having said that, I still think this will be a hard game for Man United.
“If it’s a draw, then it’ll put a lot of pressure on Erik ten Hag. They don’t want to be playing Chelsea with a Champions League spot on the line. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended in a draw but I expect them to get this one over the line and take a huge step towards Champions League qualification.”
Merson’s prediction: Bournemouth 0-1 Manchester United
Stretty News prediction
Manchester United can’t underestimate Bournemouth, therefore, I can’t see anything but a United win if we approach the game with the right mentality. We have to want it more than the Cherries and let’s face it… they’re not playing for anything. United fans want nights in the Champions League to think about again.
Stretty News prediction: Bournemouth 0-2 Manchester United
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