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Paul Pogba

Flat track bully: Why Bournemouth's visit to Old Trafford presents Pogba with an opportunity

07:00 GMT 04/03/2017
Paul Pogba
The Frenchman will be looking to expose the struggling opposition goalkeeper on Saturday and move his side into the top four

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An opportunity has presented itself to Manchester United - having secured their second trophy of the season with a 3-2 Wembley win against Southampton to claim the EFL Cup, they now have the chance to dislodge themselves from sixth position in the Premier League table and climb into the top four.

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Despite a remarkable turn of form, United have been unable to climb the table in recent months and currently remain lurking outside the elusive Champions League spots. One man who has been at the forefront of the Red Devils' fine string of results also has an opportunity at Old Trafford on Saturday, as Jose Mourinho's men host Eddie Howe's Bournemouth.

Paul Pogba's initial struggle following his world-record return to Manchester has been exceeded by a number of impressive performances as he continues to grow into his role in midfield. The Frenchman recently beat Liverpool's Jordan Henderson and Arsenal's Mesut Ozil in the race to 1,000 passes in the opposition half, and is now in a position to take advantage of another stat this weekend.

Artur Boruc is a 'keeper whose career has been riddled with errors. The Polish shot-stopper was again at fault as Bournemouth fell to Tony Pulis' West Brom last time out and now finds himself between the sticks for a club on an eight-game winless streak. Boruc is also the Premier League 'keeper who has conceded the most goals from outside the 18-yard box - something Pogba will be licking his lips at. 

The United man has himself registered the most shots at goal from outside the area this season, with 48, and has hit the target with 27 of his 66 overall strikes at goal. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will also fancy his chances against the Cherries' Pol in goal, having amassed a total of 102 shots this term.

Pogba has been somewhat of a flat track bully in a Red Devils shirt - the midfielder's four Premier League goals have come against a struggling Leicester side early in the season, and relegation-threatened trio Swansea, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough. The 23-year-old also netted twice in a 4-1 Europa League thumping of Fenerbahce at Old Trafford back in October.

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His assists, too, have come against lesser clubs - West Ham, Palace, Sunderland and Zorya in Europe.

With Manchester United enjoying a 16-game unbeaten streak, and Bournemouth having conceded at least two goals in their past seven matches, it seems unlikely Mourinho's side will drop points this weekend, and Pogba will again have an opportunity to be the tormentor.