Back to it, then. After Sunday’s underwhelming and ultimately disappointing defeat to Manchester City, United have to pick themselves up, wipe away the milk, and play another game of football.
They will do so against Bournemouth, and they will do so without Paul Pogba, who is still suspended. Also missing are Eric Bailly and Michael Carrick, with uncertain return dates. However, Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo could in theory be involved.
It seems a bit odd that a home game against Bournemouth in December should be a must-win game, but it kind of feels that way. A good performance and a convincing win here would serve as a sign that United, though they may be 11 points behind the leaders, aren’t going to fall apart just because the derby went the way of the pear. A poor result, however, and the drums of CRISIS will begin to sound in the distance, deep and ominous.
(City are away at Swansea, since you ask, so even if United win there’s little prospect of the 11 point gap getting smaller.)
For their part, Bournemouth have improved on a slow start. They’ve lost just once since the beginning of November and are currently 14th in the table, three points above the relegation zone. Only one team in the bottom half have conceded fewer goals, so while United will be favourites, it could be a little awkward. Between the posts and under the bar, please, Romelu.
Premier League schedule
We kick off at 20.00 in Manchester, which works out as 15.00 on the east coast and 12.00 over on the west. A whole hour past the yardarm! Get the rum in.
Please note that the Busby Babe is not responsible for any consequences should you decide to “get the rum in”.
Premier League TV channel
Sadly, this game isn’t on normal television in the UK or the USA. It’s like people don’t even want to watch Mourinho’s entertainers. Everybody else, have a nose at livesoccertv.
Premier League streaming
Predictions: Obviously, tBB’s preference would be to pick all and only those players who got stuck in after the derby, but that might lead to a certain imbalance in the team. So let’s go with David de Gea; Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw; Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan; Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial.
Update: 9 out of 11 for us
. Decent effort.
This will also be our live thread for the game, so do join us in the comments below.