We don't fear Manchester United anymore - Francis

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Bournemouth sit two places ahead of Jose Mourinho's side ahead of their clash on Saturday, and the captain says his side may even be favourites

Bournemouth captain Simon Francis claims his side do not fear Manchester United in the same way they may have done in the past.

The two sides are set to go head to head at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The Cherries are three points ahead of United in the Premier League table, having only been beaten twice so far this season.

Jose Mourinho’s side have endured a tough start to the campaign and currently sit in eighth position, having clocked up 17 points so far.

Their form has improved in recent weeks, but Francis says his side do not fear teams like United in the same way that they used to.

“There is certainly no fear factor. The form book would say we might be favourites going into the game,” Francis insisted.

“I don’t think we see it as a free hit anymore, these kinds of games, because we believe we can beat them.

“With the points we have accumulated so far even if we lose to Man United, people might think, it’s OK they have had a good start to the season, but we don’t see it like that.

“Even in our first season when we played the big teams nobody would back us to get any points, but this is our fourth season and we have come a long way.

“These games are the ones we can grab by the scruff of the neck and take to Man United. The lads will be raring to go, are looking forward to every Premier League game and why not? We are on good form.

“We will be at it from the start, pressing high and trying to win the ball back to give the fans something to get excited about.”

Eddie Howe’s side boast one of the most impressive defensive records in the Premier League this season, with four clean sheets to their name.

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One player that they’re likely to come up against at some point on Saturday is United striker Romelu Lukaku, who has been out of form in recent weeks.

The Belgium star was dropped to the bench in the Red Devils’ win against Everton last weekend, but Francis says his side won’t be underestimating the capabilitiesof the 25-year-old on Saturday.

“I am sure he will be champing at the bit to play. He has been a bit out of form, but you cannot underestimate these players or these teams.”