Man Utd v Bournemouth
Wednesday, 20:00 GMT
Manchester United's meeting with Bournemouth on Wednesday may seem like a relatively straightforward recovery from their derby defeat at the weekend but the physical and mental toll that such a game will have taken out of Mourinho's men could be key. As such Eddie Howe will no doubt welcome the timing of this particular trip to Old Trafford.
The Cherries have found their feet after a dismal start to the campaign and while they remain just three points above the drop, a run of four matches without defeat on the road is one that only Manchester City (eight) and Leicester (six) have bettered over the course of the season so far. That said, their issues in front of goal away from home remain a concern, and it's up front where Howe perhaps has his biggest selection dilemma.
Who leads the line proving a headache for Howe
Jermain Defoe may have rolled back the years at the weekend with a brace, including a stunning lob for his second against Crystal Palace, but he has started the last two in the league. The latest of those at Selhurst Park was only the 35-year-old's third of the season away from home, and his record at Old Trafford in particular is remarkable for all the wrong reasons.
The England international has only ever scored five goals in 29 appearances against United, with only one of said strikes coming in Manchester. That was a whopping 16 years ago, and the fourth goal of a Premier League haul he took to 161 on Saturday. Callum Wilson is the most likely alternative, whose tally of three this season - all of which came in one game - is level with Defoe at the top of Bournemouth's incredibly underwhelming scoring charts.
With that in mind many might look to a win to nil for the hosts, but the Red Devils' defensive issues have been largely lost in the praise heaped on David de Gea in recent times. His performances have caught the eye for a reason after all, with the hosts' rearguard far from watertight at present.
Can Bournemouth breach weakened United backline?
Indeed, Mourinho's charges have kept just one clean sheet in seven and Eric Bailly's absence has been felt. With Marcos Rojo now in doubt it's set to be one of Victor Lindelof or the returning Phil Jones partnering Chris Smalling at the back in what is likely to be one of a handful of changes following a busy schedule.
The visitors should have their chances as a result, with tempting odds on both teams to score at 2.1011/10, which has played out in each of the four Premier League meetings between these sides to date. Bournemouth to score exactly one goal 2.707/4, as they have in their last three against Wednesday's hosts, could be another worthwhile bet.
Elsewhere there could be real value in the half time market, with Bournemouth boasting an impressive record up until the interval. The Cherries have been trailing at the break in just three of 16 league matches this season, and in just one of the last 12. When considering United's earliest goal in their last six matches at Old Trafford has come in the 45th minute, odds of 2.829/5 on the scores being level at half time are high.
Finding value in the goalscorer stakes
As far as likely goalscorers are concerned, there are plenty of reasons to back Romelu Lukaku, but as such not a great deal of profit to be made. The Belgian is 8/11 on the Betfair Sportsbook to score at any time having netted four goals in his last appearance against Howe's side, and six in total across five meetings with the Cherries. He'll be desperate to atone for his error in the derby, and costly miss late on, but could also be in line for a rest, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic still awaiting his first start since returning from injury.
Marcus Rashford is perhaps the most likely starter in the hosts' attack having refound his goalscoring touch recently, and the uncertainty over his status as a starter in general makes his odds appealing. The youngster is 2.1011/10 to score having found the net in his last two appearances and he has a point to prove to Mourinho in his continued battle for a regular place in the XI.
Bournemouth to score exactly 1 goal @ 2.77/4
Draw at half-time @ 2.829/5
Staked - 9pts
Returned - 7.3pts
P&L - -1.7pts