Twelve months on from securing promotion back to the Premier League, Bournemouth have proven many people wrong by cementing their status in the top flight this season, despite suffering back-to-back defeats in their last two matches against Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
A 3-1 home defeat against the Blues was followed by a 2-0 loss at Selhurst Park last weekend, with an Eberechi Eze brace helping the Eagles to come out on top against a Cherries side who failed to register a single shot on target.
Gary O’Neil deserves plenty of credit for keeping Bournemouth up this season, with his side currently sitting 14th in the table and eight points clear of the drop zone.
but the Cherries boss – who turned 40 on Thursday – will be keen to end the campaign on a high and claim positive results from their final two fixtures at home against Man United and away to Everton.
Bournemouth have history when it comes to going out with a bang on home soil as they have won their final game at the Vitality Stadium in three of their last five Premier League seasons, although they did suffer a 2-0 defeat to Southampton in their most recent final home fixture in 2019-20.
The Cherries have in fact struggled in front of their own fans in recent weeks, as they have lost three of their last four home matches by an aggregate score of 10-1. However, a slender 1-0
victory was secured the last time that they welcomed Man United to the South coast in November 2019, courtesy of a first-half strike from former Red Devil Joshua King.
Man United’s 20th top-flight win of the campaign has moved them onto 66 points from 35 games, already eight points more than last season, and they remain fourth in the table as things stand, sitting just one place and one point above an in-form Liverpool outfit who have played a game more.
Securing Champions League football for next season is Erik ten Hag’s sole focus as the Red Devils head into their final three league fixtures, but that task has been made tougher due to their poor away record in recent months – accumulating just eight points on the road from their last 27 available since the turn of the year.
Man United lost their final away league match of last season, suffering a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace, but they can be confident of success on Saturday having won eight of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Bournemouth, including a 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford in January.