Bournemouth vs Manchester United tactical preview: Battles that will decide the game – Man United News And Transfer News

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By Margaretd. Regina

3-0. That’s the shocking scoreline that prompted many to call it the worst defeat under Erik ten Hag.

There have been losses by bigger margins, who can forget the 7-0 loss to Liverpool, but the manner in which Manchester United folded without a fight at their home vs a team that barely survived relegation a year earlier was baffling.

United travel to Bournemouth, the same opponent that engineered that nadir and try to claw back some pride.

The Champions League qualification race looks done for so the rest of the season is about winning as many games as possible and hopefully, the FA Cup too.

Here are the key themes that will decide the fate of this game vs Bournemouth-

Press, press, and press

It is a damning thing to say but the reality is, Bournemouth look closer to Ten Hag’s vision for United in half the time with Andoni Iraola.

They press like machines in a proper pattern by identifying triggers and using the sideline almost as an “extra man”. Dominic Solanke’s opening goal in the reverse fixture came as a result of that concerted press.

They press high, but retreat into a low block quickly if initial attempts fail which means there is no sea of space between the attack and midfield, something which has bothered United repeatedly.

In the cauldron-like stadium of Bournemouth, they will start fast and United might not have a choice but to play it long and over their press.

Otherwise, a deja vu feeling might not be far away with an early goal by Iraola’s men.

Dominic Solanke vs Willy Kambwala

Hojlund’s hot streak of January has cooled off and he has become more isolated in this structure, or the lack of it. Solanke, on the other hand, is enjoying the best top-flight scoring season of his career.

Solanke has already hurt United once and his ability to be involved in the play even when he isn’t scoring marks him out as a multi-faceted threat.

Willy Kambwala successfully came through the baptism of fire when he started against Liverpool and acquitted himself well. Solanke will provide a different challenge and will undoubtedly target him instead of going up against Harry Maguire.

If the Frenchman can handle Solanke as well as he did Liverpool’s forwards, mainly Darwin Nunez, he will go a long way towards establishing himself as more than just an emergency option when United are injury-ravaged.

Milos Kerkez vs Antony

If Marcus Rashford isn’t able to shrug off his issue and play this game, then a front three of Garnacho-Hojlund-Antony is expected. In that case, Antony will line up against Milos Kerkez, the Hungarian left-back who has taken to the Premier League like duck to water.

Kerkez has impressed so much that even United have been credited with an interest. On the other hand, Antony is also starting to find some form.

This promises to be an exciting battle as Antony will try to drag Kerkez inside with him, leaving space for United’s right-back to overlap.

Going the other side, Kerkez is a good progressive passer and regularly breaks lines with his passes, something United are missing from Luke Shaw this season. A good performance here could be an audition for the Hungarian to play the role at Old Trafford next season!

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