The in-form Bruno Fernandes looks a good bet to strike again and it's worth putting that together with another United clean sheet, says Jamie Pacheco...
"That man Fernandes has three goals in four matches since the resumption and is fresh from a brace at Brighton. He’s on penalty duty, loves shooting from anywhere, will have little or no defensive responsibilities here and will be fancying his chances against a side who has been rather porous of late."
Manchester United v Bournemouth
Saturday July 4, 15:00
Live on BT Sport 1
Happy times at Old Trafford
If there was an award for best side since the restart, Manchester United would surely have won it. There wasn't too much wrong with their 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane and they followed it up with back-to-back 3-0 wins over Sheffield United at home and Brighton away. Sandwiched between those two PL victories was a hard-fought FA Cup triumph over Norwich so they're certainly ending the season in style.
What a difference Bruno Fernandes has made. Plenty of pundits have suggested he's a sort of Frank Lampard 2.0, running the show in midfield with slick passing and good movement and just having a sixth sense for where the ball will end up once it's played into the box. There wasn't too much wrong with either of his finishes at Brighton on Tuesday night either.
But it's not just about the boost he's provided. Paul Pogba has reminded us of what he can do when fit, the defence has been much sharper and the scoring form of Anthony Martial and the bright performances from Mason Greenwood have all contributed to the cause, as well.
Cherries really up against it
What an absolute disaster this season has been for the Cherries.
From being a solid mid-table side who played entertaining, passing football to a bit of a shambles, really.
Things were already going south for them before a calamitous 4-1 defeat at home to Newcastle that had a double negative effect on them. Not only was it a match that they would have expected to get at least a point from but it's seen their goal difference take a considerable hit, as well. Who knows what a difference those three goals could make come the end of the month?
It's going to be a real struggle from hereon to stay up and with every point now vital, they could have done without having a game as tough as this up next after that bodyblow on Wednesday afternoon. It doesn't necessarily get any easier after that with Tottenham, Leicester and Man City still to come but it's important that even if they do lose here, they can take some positives out of the game and still believe they can beat the drop.
It doesn't help that their main source of goals- Callum Wilson- is suspended. One has to question why a striker has picked up 10 bookings this season.
United prohibitively short for a reason
I'm not going to spend much time discussing United's price of [1.2] to win because it's not easy to make a case for anything other than three points for United. The Red Devils have won seven of their eight at home to the Cherries in all competitions (Opta), won this fixture 4-1 last season and come into it in fine form while Bournemouth are really struggling, as we've seen already.
If you think there will be an upset, it's [8.4] the draw and a slightly ridiculous [22.0] on the away win.
A few punters might be eyeing up the odds of [1.9] on Man Utd -2 on the Asian Handicap, where they'd have to win by three goals to win (if they win by two, it's a 'push') but that might be a bit ambitious. Yes, United have won their last two by three goals but they will be more concerned about just winning and keeping their players fresh than going out and thrashing a side like Bournemouth, so that doesn't look a particularly great bet.
The Betfair Sportsbook isn't giving much away in terms of potential United goalscorers. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are both 4/6 to grab a goal and that looks short on Rashford, who's yet to score since the resumption of football and may have less chances to do so now that he's clearly playing from a much wider position at the moment.
I was hoping I could get a decent price about Mason Greenwood, who has looked really sharp and clearly has an eye for goal but I can't be taking evens on a player who is as of yet, unproven. I'd be surprised if you couldn't get [3.0] over on the Exchange once the market matures, so that's one to consider.
Fernandes at 11/10? Interesting but read on to see how we're going to go about backing him.
That man Fernandes has three goals in four matches since the resumption and is fresh from a brace at Brighton. He's on penalty duty, loves shooting from anywhere, will have little or no defensive responsibilities here and will be fancying his chances against a side who has been rather porous of late. I wouldn't call 11/10 a huge price but rather an acceptable one, and that makes the first leg of our same-game multi-bet.
And I'll put that together with 'no' on the 'both teams to score' market which is pretty much the equivalent of saying United should keep a clean sheet. Bournemouth look a bit toothless in attack and United have been defending well, keeping clean sheets in their last two and conceding just once in the three league games that they've played since the restart. The double comes to 3.4.
JAMIE'S P AND L FOR PREMIER LEAGUE 2019/20
Points Staked: 47.5
Points Returned: 53.31
P&L: +6.81 pts