It says much about the chaotic nature of Manchester United's season that Bournemouth's trip to Old Trafford on Saturday is the Red Devils' first Premier League fixture in three weeks since they beat Watford. Since then, progress has been made in the Europa League and the FA Cup, while they have also won the EFL Cup, securing the first major piece of silverware against Southampton.
But a return to Premier League action comes during the most forgiving period the calendar offers United between now and the end of the season. Coming six days after their last match and a full five days ahead of their away leg against Rostov in Europe, Jose Mourinho's side meet Bournemouth at a point when they should be relatively refreshed and close to full strength.
As they chase a place in the top four, Mourinho will be hoping to keep momentum going before the cup competitions return in the next fortnight.
MAN UTD INJURIES
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is said to be making good progress in training and could well be available again after picking up a hamstring injury in the trip to Saint-Etienne which robbed him of a spot in the EFL Cup final. He may well not start at Old Trafford, but his return will be a boost all the same for Mourinho.
Michael Carrick is fully recovered from his calf injury and could start after coming on as a half-time substitute in the Wembley triumph, while Wayne Rooney could make his first appearance since a muscle injury.
Major absences are unexpected, with Joel Pereira's knee ligament damage the only other injury of significance.
MAN UTD SUSPENSIONS
There remain no suspensions for United to worry about, with Eric Bailly's one-match ban from his sending-off at Saint-Etienne applying only to European fixtures. Paul Pogba collected his eighth domestic booking of the season at Leicester, making him the closest to a suspension. The Frenchman will be banned for one match if he picks up two further yellow cards before the next amnesty date of April 9.
Like United, Bournemouth are free of suspension worries for Saturday's clash.
MAN UTD POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Mourinho finds himself with more options than last week, with the return of Carrick to full use and possible comeback of Mkhitaryan giving him greater flexibility amongst his starting squad.
It is unlikely that he will risk the Armenian, but he could well start with Carrick in order to use Pogba higher up the field in the No.10 position. That will mean him having to choose between Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard in the wide attacking positions.
At the back, Mourinho's only real selection headache is likely to be at left-back as he considers how best to address the concession of space at Wembley on Sunday. Marcos Rojo could either be shifted inside into a centre-back spot so that Daley Blind can start on the left, or the Argentine may be left out altogether to rest him ahead of Thursday's trip to Russia for which Bailly is suspended.
BOURNEMOUTH TEAM NEWS
Having again impressed neutrals in the first half of the 2016-17 campaign, Eddie Howe's Bournemouth have hit the skids somewhat in recent weeks and now find themselves battling for survival going into the final third of the season.
A run of eight games without a win in all competitions has led to them dropping like a stone in the Premier League table and they now find themselves just four points above the drop zone.
Their free-scoring style has attracted the attention of many, but they also have one of the most forgiving defences in the country. Only Swansea City have conceded more than the Cherries this season, with 23 goals having been shipped since they last won on New Year's Eve at the Liberty Stadium.
Jack Wilshere's renaissance since arriving on the south coast may have been curtailed somewhat in recent weeks but he remains their man to watch, while Josh King is still capable of bagging goals if given the chance. The loss of Callum Wilson to a long-term cruciate injury represents a huge blow for Howe.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Manchester United have a 100% home win record against Bournemouth in all competitions, winning all five of their previous games against the Cherries at Old Trafford, scoring 15 goals while conceding just once.
Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc has never kept a clean sheet against Man Utd at Old Trafford in four previous attempts (two with Southampton, two with Celtic), conceding nine goals.
Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 16 league matches since losing to Chelsea in October (W9 D7 L0) – the longest unbeaten run seen in the Premier League this season.
The Cherries have won the fewest points in the Premier League in 2017 (2), while also conceding 20 goals; seven more than any other team in this period.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored just one goal fewer in all competitions in 2017 (9) than Bournemouth have (10).
Manchester United’s next win in the Premier League will be their 600th and they would be the first side to achieve this (currently P949 W599 D203 L147).
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
The Old Trafford showdown kicks-off at 12:30pm on Saturday, with TV coverage in the UK getting underway at 11:30am on Sky Sports 1.