Manchester United secured a notable 2-1 triumph against Chelsea in the Premier League, displaying a more potent attacking force than the scoreline suggests.
Despite the success, the focus now shifts to a home encounter against Bournemouth, a seemingly less formidable opponent on paper, but one that manager Erik Ten Hag acknowledges as a competitive force.
Bournemouth, under the guidance of Andoni Iraola, enters the match with a commendable record, winning three of their last four games, including victories against Newcastle United and Crystal Palace.
Their ability to score against top-tier teams like Manchester City and Liverpool underscores the threat they pose, demanding a resilient defensive performance from United.
The defensive unit, a recurrent challenge for Ten Hag this season due to injuries and inconsistent form, faces another shuffle.
Victor Lindelof, a consistent presence in the campaign, will be sidelined due to an unspecified knock, posing a potential void in the backline.
Raphael Varane, absent in the Chelsea game due to a back issue, is set to return, providing a welcome defensive boost.
Jonny Evans’ comeback, witnessed in a late cameo against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, adds depth to the defensive options.
The strategic decision to either reintegrate Varane and Evans or maintain Luke Shaw alongside Harry Maguire at the heart of the defense will be intriguing.
Shaw’s commendable performance as a center-back, showcasing passing proficiency akin to Lisandro Martinez, adds a tactical dimension.
Additionally, Sergio Reguilon’s dynamic attacking contributions from the full-back position could prove advantageous against Bournemouth’s compact defensive setup.
As United aims for consistency and defensive solidity, the upcoming clash presents both challenges and opportunities, emphasizing the need for adaptability in the defensive lineup.