Revitalised after bagging the EFL Cup in a five-goal thriller against Southampton at Wembley, Manchester United now turn their attentions back to the Premier League and a clash with Bournemouth.

The Red Devils were certainly not at their best against Claude Puel’s dynamic Saints, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the show with a decisive brace to earn Jose Mourinho his first major trophy at Old Trafford.

United’s run in the EFL Cup coincided with a superb upturn in results in the Premier League – Mourinho’s side have no lost in the top-flight since September, making up crucial ground on the top four.

In fact, as Liverpool and Arsenal’s form has dwindled, United have moved to within striking distance of their rivals and have an outside chance of claiming fourth-place come Saturday evening.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, are slowly being dragged into a relegation dog-fight after losing four straight games and conceding 12 goals in the process.
Here is the team we think Jose Mourinho will pick for the game:

Goalkeeper: 

David De Gea is almost certain to keep his spot between the sticks this weekend as he’s one of the first names on Mourinho’s team sheet.

Defence:

Phil Jones is back in contention after recovering from a foot injury but after almost a month out I think a place on the bench is the best he can hope for on Saturday.

Therefore, I expect we’ll see Chris Smalling continue alongside Eric Bailly in the heart of defence while Antonio Valencia should retain his place at right-back.

However, we could see one change to the back four that started in the FA Cup final with Daley Blind coming in to replace Marcos Rojo at left-back. Luke Shaw is expected to once again miss out as doubts over his Old Trafford future continue.

Midfield:

Michael Carrick was named among the substitutes against Southampton last Sunday but I think we’ll see the experienced midfielder get a recall on Saturday.

That could see Ander Herrera move into a slightly more advanced role with Paul Pogba dropping back to play alongside the Spaniard in front of Carrick in a midfield three. Marouane Fellaini is another option for Mourinho but I think we’ll see him remain among the subs.

Attack:

Wayne Rooney was unfortunate not to make an appearance at Wembley last weekend and I think he’ll once again be named on the bench against Bournemouth.

Juan Mata could keep his place in attack while Anthony Martial is expected to start on the left with Jesse Lingard the man most likely to make way despite getting on the score-sheet against the Saints.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will almost certainly be leading the lineup front with the Swedish superstar looking to continue his excellent goal-scoring form of late. Marcus Rashford will therefore have to make-do with a place among the subs.

 

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