Man Utd Team News: Mourinho explains Lukaku absence, Alexis starts vs Bournemouth

Romelu Lukaku Man Utd 2018

After a confidence-boosting win over Everton last weekend, Manchester United head to Bournemouth in eighth place and looking to make more ground on the top four.

But Bournemouth are likely to be a tough prospect having started the season superbly under Eddie Howe, sitting three points above United and just two behind fourth-placed Arsenal after 10 games.

United know this game is the beginning of a huge eight days, with trips to Juventus and Manchester City to follow in the Champions League and Premier League respectively, so they will hope to get their big week off to the perfect start.

Man Utd Injuries

Jose Mourinho continues to use Antonio Valencia sparingly, even considering the surgery the Ecuadorian had on his mouth lately, so the manager will have to choose whether to use his captain against Bournemouth and City or select him for just the Champions League trip to Juventus.

Alexis Sanchez, Marcos Rojo and Jesse Lingard returned to the matchday squad against Everton, but there was still no Phil Jones, Scott McTominay, Diogo Dalot and Marouane Fellaini among the 18.

Marouane Fellaini Manchester United 2018-19Getty Images

Man Utd Suspensions

United have no suspension worries, and the same is true of Bournemouth. Similarly, neither side is set to lose any players to suspension should they be booked on Saturday.

Man Utd Starting Line-Up

The big news is that Romelu Lukaku does feature at all, while Alexis Sanchez leads the line. Maroune Fellaini also misses out.

On Lukaku, Jose Mourinho told BT Sport: “In training yesterday, after the press conference, he felt something that needs to be studied in the next couple of days. 

“So Lukaku has not come and we decided to start with Alexis.”

Starting XI: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Fred, Matic, Pogba; Mata, Alexis, Martial

Subs: Romero, Darmian, Jones, Herrera, McTominay, Lingard, Rashford

Man Utd XI to face BournemouthPlaying Surface

Bournemouth Team News

The Cherries have stunned many onlookers with their excellent start to the campaign, and they welcome United to Dean Court defending a six-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

Eddie Howe continues to work miracles on the south coast, with Ryan Fraser, David Brooks and Callum Wilson among those starring in their good run since the 2018-19 season began.

Only Everton and Southampton have been able to take points off Bournemouth at their home ground so far, although their only meeting with one of the 'Big Six' ended in a 2-0 defeat away to Chelsea.

Howe has the apparent luxury of being able to choose from a full squad, meaning Wilson should again lead the line as he did when scoring twice at Fulham in their 3-0 win last time out in the Premier League.

They also have plenty of options in terms of shape, having played with three-man and four-man defences this season and succeeded in both shapes.

Callum Wilson Bournemouth Premier League

TV Channel & Kick-off time

The match at the Vitality Stadium kicks off at 12:30pm GMT on Saturday, with live coverage available in the UK on BT Sport 1 from midday. In the U.S. the game will be shown on NBCSN at 8:30am ET.

Best Opta Match facts

  • After winning their first Premier League meeting with Man Utd (2-1 in December 2015), Bournemouth are winless in their last five against the Red Devils (D1 L4).

  • Bournemouth have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Premier League games – they’ve never done so in four consecutively in the top-flight.

  • Bournemouth are unbeaten in six Premier League home games (W4 D2), with their last defeat at the Vitality Stadium coming against Manchester United in April (0-2).

  • Man Utd have won just two of their last seven away Premier League games (W2 D2 L3).

  • In their 10 Premier League games this season, Man Utd have conceded 17 goals and kept just one clean sheet; after 10 games last term, they’d conceded just four goals and kept eight clean sheets.

  • Man Utd striker Romelu Lukaku has scored six goals in his last three Premier League meetings with Bournemouth, including netting in both matches for the Red Devils last season.

  • Man Utd’s Anthony Martial has scored in each of his last three Premier League games (4 goals in total) – he’s never scored in four in a row in the competition.

  • Under Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba has been directly involved in more goals in all competitions than any other Man Utd player (20 goals, 22 assists).

  • Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson has been directly involved in nine goals in 10 Premier League games this season (5 goals, 4 assists) – just one fewer than he was in 28 games last term (8 goals, 2 assists).

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